Moebius Symdrome foundation
Many Faces of Moebius Syndrome
Facial nerve Palsy(support group)
Möbius syndrome (also spelled Moebius) is an extremely rare congenital neurological disorder which is characterized by facial paralysis and the inability to move the eyes from side to side. Most people with Möbius syndrome are born with complete facial paralysis and cannot close their eyes or form facial expressions. Limb and chest wall abnormalities sometimes occur with the syndrome. Most people with Möbius syndrome have normal intelligence, although their lack of facial expression is sometimes incorrectly taken to be due to dullness or unfriendliness. It is named for Paul Julius Möbius, a neurologist who first described the syndrome in 1888.
Möbius syndrome results from the underdevelopment of the VI and VII cranial nerves. The VI cranial nerve controls lateral eye movement, and the VII cranial nerve controls facial expression. People with Möbius syndrome are born with facial paralysis and the inability to move their eyes laterally. Often, the upper lip is retracted due to muscle shrinkage. Occasionally, the cranial nerves V and VIII are affected. If cranial VIII is affected, the person experiences hearing loss.
It is estimated that there are, on average, 2 to 20 cases of Möbius syndrome per million births. Although its rarity often leads to late diagnosis, infants with this disorder can be identified at birth by a "mask-like" lack of expression that is detectable during crying or laughing and by an inability to suck while nursing because of paresis (palsy) of the sixth and seventh cranial nerves. Also, because a person with Möbius syndrome cannot follow objects by moving their eyes from side to side, they turn their head instead.
Other symptoms that sometimes occur with Möbius syndrome are:
- Limb abnormalities—clubbed feet, missing fingers or toes
- Chest-wall abnormalities (Poland Syndrome)
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Difficulty in breathing and/or in swallowing
- Corneal erosion resulting from difficulty in blinking
Children with Möbius syndrome may have delayed speech because of paralysis of the lips. However, with speech therapy, most people with Möbius syndrome can develop understandable speech. Möbius syndrome has been associated with increased occurrence of the symptoms of autism.However, some children with Möbius syndrome are mistakenly labeled as mentally retarded or autistic because of their expressionless faces, strabismus, and frequent drooling.