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Acta Odontol Scand. 1995 Jun;53(3):135-43.

Human prenatal craniofacial development related to brain development under normal and pathologic conditions.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


A survey is given of current knowledge of the interrelationship between facial, cranial and brain development in humans. First, normal facial, cranial (mandible, maxilla, palatine bone, cranial base, theca cranii, dentition), and brain development are described separately. Then, developmental interrelationships are illustrated under normal and pathologic conditions (cleft lip and palate, holoprosencephaly, anencephaly, amniotic band sequence). New observations are described in detail, and references are given to previously published articles. A close interconnection exists between the development of the face, the craniofacial skeleton, and the brain. This is illustrated by new observations in cleft palate fetuses and new theories about the etiology of holoprosencephaly and tooth agenesis. The survey focuses, moreover, on the importance of the face and the cranial base in endocrine development. Borderlines between face regions and cranial regions with different developmental origin are set up for future elucidation of the etiology behind syndromes involving the craniofacial regions.

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