Porencephaly is an extremely rare disorder of the central nervous system in which a cyst or cavity filled with cerebrospinal fluid develops in the brain.
It is usually the result of damage from stroke or infection after birth (the more common type), but it can also be caused by abnormal development before birth (which is inherited and less common).
Diagnosis is usually made before an infant reaches his or her first birthday.
Symptoms of porencephaly may include:
The prognosis for children with porencephaly varies according to the location and extent of the cysts or cavities. Some children with this disorder develop only minor neurological problems and have normal intelligence, while others may be severely disabled and die before their second decade of life.
Treatment may include physical therapy, medication for seizures, and the placement of a shunt in the brain to remove excess fluid in the brain.