Dandy-Walker Syndrome is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum (an area at the back of the brain that controls movement) and the fluid filled spaces around it.
The key features of this syndrome are an enlargement of the fourth ventricle (a small channel that allows fluid to flow freely between the upper and lower areas of the brain and spinal cord), a partial or complete absence of the cerebellar vermis (the area between the two cerebellar hemispheres), and cyst formation near the internal base of the skull. An increase in the size of the fluid spaces surrounding the brain as well as an increase in pressure may also be present.
The syndrome can appear dramatically or develop unnoticed. Symptoms, which often occur in early infancy, include slow motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull. In older children, symptoms of increased intracranial pressure such as irritability, vomiting, and convulsions, and signs of cerebellar dysfunction such as unsteadiness, lack of muscle coordination, or jerky movements of the eyes may occur.
Other symptoms include increased head circumference, bulging at the back of the skull, problems with the nerves that control the eyes, face and neck, and abnormal breathing patterns. Dandy-Walker Syndrome is frequently associated with disorders of other areas of the central nervous system including absence of the corpus callosum and malformations of the heart, face, limbs, fingers and toes.
The Dandy-Walker Alliance is here to support those who have Dandy-Walker Syndrome and their families.
We connect families worldwide so that nobody diagnosed with Dandy-Walker feels alone. We raise awareness, help educate families, and provide resources for them to learn more about Dandy-Walker and pave a path forward. We help fund research to understand the genetic causes of Dandy-Walker.
You can be part of the Dandy-Walker Alliance today! Help us spread awareness by following us on social media and sharing our posts, by hosting fundraisers in your hometown, by sharing your stories, and so much more.