Brain Dysfunction in Congenital Malformations of the Nervous System

  • Anatole S. Dekaban


The overall incidence of various types of major congenital malformations in man is very high. This can be assessed from the fairly detailed statistical data available in a number of surveys(1,2) (cf. also Table 1). A more recent study conducted under the auspices of the World Health Organization and reported by Stevenson et al.(7) showed the total incidence of major congenital malformations in 411,405 births pooled from different surveys to be 12.7/1000 births. The lowest rates were in Bombay (8.6/1000) and Santiago (9.44/1000) and the highest in Belfast (19.4/1000), Panama City (20.8/1000), and Johannesburg (22.5/1000). A variety of environmental factors, such as nutritional deficiencies, toxins, infections, background radiation, and genetic influences, is responsible for most of the differences. However, the manner of collecting and evaluating statistical data must not be overlooked as contributing to the reported differences. The fact remains that congenital malformations of a serious nature are common and account heavily for the high rate of mortality and morbidity in children. In the USA the incidence of total congenital malformations is about 10/1000 live births, which is close to the average found by the World Health Organization study(7) of 12.7/1000 total births, which includes stillbirths.


Corpus Callosum Olfactory Bulb Congenital Malformation Cerebral Hemisphere Spina Bifida 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatole S. Dekaban
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Investigations Service, Developmental and Metabolic Neurology BranchNational Institute Neurological Diseases and StrokeBethesdaUSA

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