Mobius Syndrome (Congenital Facial Diplegia)
What is Mobius Syndrome?
Mobius syndrome is a rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression. The first symptom, present at birth, is an inability to suck. Other symptoms can include: feeding, swallowing, and choking problems; excessive drooling; crossed eyes; lack of facial expression; inability to smile; eye sensitivity; motor delays; high or cleft palate; hearing problems; and speech difficulties. Small or absent brain stem nuclei that control the cranial nerves, as well as decreased numbers of muscle fibers, have been reported. Deformities of the tongue, jaw, and limbs, such as clubfoot and missing or webbed fingers, may also occur. As children get older, lack of facial expression and inability to smile become the dominant visible symptoms. The prognosis for otherwise normal development is excellent in most cases.