Hydranencephaly is a deadly birth defect of the brain, in which fluid-filled sacs form instead of brain matter. A child born with hydranencephaly is not expected to live for more than one year, and there is no treatment. Certain drugs, such as Depakote, Depakene, SSRIs, and antidepressants increase a pregnant woman’s chance of having a baby with a serious birth defect.
Do I Have a Hydranencephaly Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Hydranencephaly lawsuit.
What is Hydranencephaly?
Hydranencephaly is a serious congenital birth defect of the brain, which means that it develops while the baby is in the womb and is present at birth. In this disorder, the cerebral hemispheres fail to develop, and instead the brain develops with sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
It is not always apparent at birth. A baby may have normal head size and appearance, and normal reflexes including sucking, crying, moving the arms and legs, and swallowing. However, within a few months of life, the baby will begin to suffer from seizures and hydrocephalus, which is a condition where too much cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain.
Hydranencephaly occurs in fewer than one out of 10,000 live births. The parts of the brain that are typically absent are the cerebral cortex and the basal ganglia. The other parts of the brain are typically unaffected.
The cerebral cortex is the part of the brain involved in memory, attention, awareness of the world, thinking, language, and consciousness.
The basal ganglia are a part of the forebrain involved in motor control.
Depakote, Depakene, Celexa, Lexapro, Symbyax, Cipralex, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Wellbutrin Linked to Hydranencephaly
Always talk to your doctor if you are pregnant and taking any medication or thinking about taking a medication. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and dietary supplements. Do not start or stop any medication without first consulting a doctor. If you are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor to determine which are necessary and should be continued.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant medication that have been linked to several serious birth defects. Women who took these medications during pregnancy may be at an increased risk of having a child with a birth defect.
SSRIs and antidepressants include the following prescription medications:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Anti-Seizure Medications – Medications prescribed for the prevention of seizures, manic-depressive episodes, migraine headaches, and other mood conditions may increase a woman’s chance of having a baby with a birth defect, according to a new study. Medications in this group are:
- Depakote CP
- Depakote ER
Causes & Symptoms of Hydranencephaly
Hydranencephaly is usually caused by a traumatic event to the fetus at around the 12th week of pregnancy. Often, this is caused when the mother experiences a stroke or other trauma. It may also be caused by fetal exposure to medications.
Though the child may appear normal at birth, it will begin missing key milestone developments within a few weeks of birth. These include a lack of growth or control over body movements. Some babies are unable to feed or are blind and/or deaf. After the symptoms begin to appear, a doctor will probably perform an imaging scan, such as an MRI. When the doctor looks at the MRI, the birth defect will be readily apparent as fluid-filled cavities in the brain.
The most common signs of hydranencephaly are:
- Visual impairment
- Lack of growth
- Intellectual deficits
- Twitching muscles
- Respiratory problems
Treatment & Prognosis
There is no curative treatment for hydranencephaly, beyond controlling the symptoms and providing psychological support to the family. Sometimes, surgeons implant a shunt into the brain to divert fluid away from the brain and relieve pressure in the skull. Each patient will need a unique treatment depending on the severity of the defect and other individual factors.
The long-term treatment options and prognosis for a child born with hydranencephaly is usually poor. Children with this condition usually do not live for more than one year, though some may survive for several years or more.
Do I Have a Hydranencephaly Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Hydranencephaly lawsuit.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more that 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Hydranencephaly birth defect lawsuit review.