Sturge-Weber syndrome (patient information)
Sturge-Weber syndrome On the Web
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Sturge-Weber syndrome is a rare disorder that is present at birth. A child with this condition will have a port-wine stain birthmark (usually on the face) and neurologic problems.
What are the symptoms of Sturge-Weber syndrome?
- Port-wine stain (more common on the face than the body)
- Paralysis or weakness on one side
- Learning disabilities
What causes Sturge-Weber syndrome?
The cause of Sturge-Weber is unknown. It is not thought to be passed down (inherited) through families.
When to seek urgent medical care?
The health care provider should check all birthmarks, including a port-wine stain. Seizures, vision problems, paralysis, and changes in alertness or mental state may mean the coverings of the brain are involved. These symptoms should be evaluated right away.
Glaucoma may be one sign of the condition.
Tests may include:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
Treatment is based on the patient's signs and symptoms, and may include:
- Anticonvulsant medicines for seizures
- Eye drops or surgery to treat glaucoma
- Laser therapy for port-wine stains
- Physical therapy for paralysis or weakness
- Possible brain surgery to prevent seizures
Where to find medical care for Sturge-Weber syndrome?
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Most cases of Sturge-Weber are not life-threatening. The patient's quality of life depends on how well the symptoms (such as seizures) can be prevented or treated.
- Abnormal blood vessel growth in the skull
- Continued growth of the port-wine stain
- Developmental delays
- Emotional and behavioral problems
- Glaucoma, which may lead to blindness