Parents look forward to that first cry, first smile and first laugh, but for infants born with Moebius Syndrome, those events will never be a reality. Moebius Syndrome is a birth defect resulting from damage to the 6th and 7th cranial facial nerve. Infants are born without the ability to move the face. Children born with Moebius Syndrome cannot smile, suckle, frown or blink the eyes. Other cranial nerves may be affected by the disorder including the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th and 12th.
The effects of Moebius Syndrome are not limited to the face. Many cases present with club feet, trouble breathing, speech disorders, swallowing disorders, sleep disorders and weakened strength in the upper body. About 30% of all children diagnosed with Moebius Syndrome are also autistic.
Parents of children with Moebius Syndrome can seek support from the Moebius Syndrome Foundation. Special feeding techniques, surgery and therapy are all used to treat the condition. There is no known cure for Moebius Syndrome.