Cortical Dysplasias are neurological disorders that are congenital in nature (patient born with it) and due to the result of neuronal migration disorders.
Neurons are type of cells in the nervous system, and in this context they are the type of brain cells and the most important structural and functional units in the brain. In the embryonic and fetal growth of the brain, the neurons take birth in one pace and then have to migrate to another place like for example the cortex of brain where they settle for the rest of their life. If this migration is defective due to any reason it is called as migration disorder and the neurons fall short of their destination site.
These abnormally placed neurons are defective in their functioning to various grades.
What are the usual manifestations?
Cortical-dysplasias are such migration disorders. They can be either focal or more diffuse. Their abnormal functioning can give rise to developmental problems, mental retardation, learning difficulties etc. If they start firing abnormally then epilepsy may be the out come of it.
They cause partial type of seizures (focal onset) with or without secondary generalizations. More specifically speaking they can give rise to simple partial and/or complex partial seizures with or without secondary generalization.
Diagnosis & Management
Diagnosis is usually done by a good quality MRI of the brain.
There is no cure for this condition as of now. Treatment is symptomatic & supportive. Anticonvulsants (antiepileptic drugs) are used for epilepsy; if do not respond adequately or side effects with these medications then ketogenic diet, epilepsy surgery etc are the options.
Patients may require special education if they have mental retardation or learning difficulties. Additional interventions are necessary if behavioral and/or psychiatric problems are there.
A neurologist is frequently involved in the care of these patients.