July 18, 2007

Mobius Syndrome

Those with Mobius Syndrome are recognized by their facial diplegia. They lack any facial expression; they have difficulty eating and cannot fully close their eyes. In addition to paresis of CN VII bilaterally, they classically have CN VI pareses. CN V and VIII dysfunction and variable orofacial and limb malformations are also associated with the syndrome.

Since facial diplegia leads to social stigmatization, a surgery has been to developed to correct it. Performed in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children, it involves borrowing nerve from the masseter and muscle from the thigh. With practice, according to the website, patients "learn" to involuntarily smile. This has even happened in adults, testament to the plasticity of the human brain at all ages.

The syndrome was identified by the German neurologist Paul Julius Möbius. He should not be confused with August Ferdinand Möbius who independently described the Mobius strip or band. Mobius Band is also a rock group from Brooklyn.

No comments: