Disease at a Glance

Summary
Craniosynostosis is the premature closure of one or more of the joints that connect the bones of a baby's skull (cranial sutures). Normally, the bones remain separate until about age 2, while the brain is growing. They then fuse together and stay connected throughout life. The closure is premature when it occurs before brain growth is complete. Symptoms and severity vary depending on how many sutures close prematurely. For example, if only one closes prematurely (which is most common), brain growth may continue in other parts of the skull, leading only to an abnormally-shaped skull and no other health problems or complications. If multiple sutures close prematurely, brain growth can be restricted. This can lead to increased pressure in the skull, impaired brain development, seizures, blindness, and/or intellectual disability. Craniosynostosis may occur as a single abnormality (isolated Craniosynostosis) or it may occur as one feature of one of many syndromes. Most cases of isolated Craniosynostosis occur randomly (sporadically) and have no known cause. In some cases, isolated Craniosynostosis is due to a genetic change in any of several genes, with autosomal dominant inheritance. When Craniosynostosis is a feature of a larger syndrome (syndromic Craniosynostosis), the cause and inheritance pattern depend on the syndrome the person has. However, most syndromic causes of Craniosynostosis are autosomal dominant. Craniosynostosis can also be associated with a metabolic disease such as rickets, or hyperthyroidism. However, not all children with Craniosynostosis will need surgery. Children who have surgery and are otherwise healthy generally do not experience long-term complications, especially when only one suture is involved.
Resource(s) for Medical Professionals and Scientists on This Disease:
This section is currently in development.

About Craniosynostosis

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD aims to provide the following information for this disease:

  • Population Estimate:Fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. have this disease.
  • Symptoms:May start to appear as a Newborn and as an Infant.
  • Cause:This condition is caused by a change in the genetic material (DNA).
  • Organizations:GARD is not currently aware of organizations specific to this condition.
  • Categories:Birth DefectGenetic Disease
When Do Symptoms of Craniosynostosis Begin?
Symptoms of this disease may start to appear as a Newborn and as an Infant.

The age symptoms may begin to appear differs between diseases. Symptoms may begin in a single age range, or during several age ranges. The symptoms from some diseases may begin at any age. Knowing when symptoms began to appear can help medical providers find the correct diagnosis.
Prenatal
Before Birth
Newborn Selected
Birth-4 weeks
Infant Selected
1-23 months
Child
2-11 years
Adolescent
12-18 years
Adult
19-65 years
Older Adult
65+ years
Symptoms may start to appear as a Newborn and as an Infant.

Symptoms

This information is currently in development. 

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Inheritance

All individuals inherit two copies of most genes. The number of copies of a gene that need to have a disease-causing variant affects the way a disease is inherited. This disease is inherited in the following pattern(s):

Autosomal Dominant Inheritance

Advocacy and Support Groups

How Can Patient Organizations Help?

Patient organizations can help patients and families connect. They build public awareness of the disease and are a driving force behind research to improve patients' lives. They may offer online and in-person resources to help people live well with their disease. Many collaborate with medical experts and researchers.

Services of patient organizations differ, but may include:

  • Ways to connect to others and share personal stories
  • Easy-to-read information
  • Up-to-date treatment and research information
  • Patient registries
  • Lists of specialists or specialty centers
  • Financial aid and travel resources

Please note: GARD provides organizations for informational purposes only and not as an endorsement of their services. Please contact an organization directly if you have questions about the information or resources it provides.

Patient Organizations

4 Organizations

Organization Name

Who They Serve

Helpful Links

Country

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

Participating in Clinical Studies

Clinical studies are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances, including rare diseases. Participating in research helps researchers ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human diseases.

What Are Clinical Studies?

  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about the different types of clinical studies, consent forms, questions you should ask before participating in clinical studies, and the difference between research and medical treatment.

Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

How Do You Find the Right Clinical Study?

  • Use ClincalTrials.gov button below to search for studies by disease, terms, or country.
  • Consult doctors, other trusted medical professionals, and patient organizations.
  • Enroll in databases to allow researchers from participating institutions to find you.

What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

What Are Clinical Studies?

  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about the different types of clinical studies, consent forms, questions you should ask before participating in clinical studies, and the difference between research and medical treatment.

Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

How Do You Find the Right Clinical Study?

  • Use ClincalTrials.gov button below to search for studies by disease, terms, or country.
  • Consult doctors, other trusted medical professionals, and patient organizations.
  • Enroll in databases to allow researchers from participating institutions to find you.

What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Please contact GARD if you need help finding additional information or resources on rare diseases, including clinical studies. Our Information Specialists are available to you by phone or by filling out our contact form. Note, GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies.
ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Please contact GARD if you need help finding additional information or resources on rare diseases, including clinical studies. Our Information Specialists are available to you by phone or by filling out our contact form. Note, GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies.

Take steps toward getting a diagnosis by working with your doctor, finding the right specialists, and coordinating medical care.

Last Updated: February 2023