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Zoloft Birth Defects: Schizencephaly

Posted on August 9th, 2011 No Comments

The prescription antidepressant Zoloft has recently been linked to a number of birth defects, including schizencephaly.

Schizencephaly is an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits or clefts in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. Infants with clefts in both hemispheres, called bilateral clefts, commonly have developmental delays, delays in speech and language skills, and problems with brain-spinal cord communication. Individuals with clefts in only one hemisphere, unilateral clefts, are commonly paralyzed on one side of the body. Newborns with unilateral clefts may have average to near-average intelligence.

Individuals with schizencephaly may also have an abnormally small head, mental retardation, partial or complete paralysis, and poor muscle tone. Most will experience seizures. Some children may have an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain called hydrocephalus.

Treatment of schizencephaly typically consists of physical therapy and drugs to prevent seizures. In cases that are complicated by hydrocephalus, a surgically implanted tube – known as a shunt – is often used to divert fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed. The prognosis for individuals with schizencephaly varies depending on the size of the clefts and the extent of neurological disabilities.

If your child suffered a birth defect, such as schizencephaly, and you used Zoloft while pregnant, please contact the Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuit Attorneys of Williams Kherkher by calling 800-641-9810.


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