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J Neurol. 1984;231(2):87-93.

A biometric analysis of brain size in micrencephalics.


Brain weight and head circumference in micrencephalic patients were analysed as a function of age, height and sex in relation to normal human standards. A quantitative definition of micrencephaly is proposed, which is based on these analyses. Evidence is presented, furthermore, that micrencephalics have a significantly lower brain weight in adolescence than in early childhood, and that this cerebral dystrophy continues throughout adulthood, leading to death in more than 85% of the males and 78% of the females before they reach the age of 30 years. Since this decline in brain weight after approximately 3-5 years of age is not accompanied by a similar reduction in head circumference, the brains of elderly micrencephalic patients no longer occupy the entire cranial cavity. It is evident, therefore, that head circumference in the case of micrencephaly is an unsuitable parameter for estimating brain size.

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