Department of Neurology

What is a cell migrational disorder?

Q: My name is Keli and i am looking for any and all information you might have on cell migration of the brain. I was apparently born with my brain cells migrating to one area and not "traveling" to their correct places. Any information in this area would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,


A: As the brain develops, there is a complex movement (migration) of brain cells from the center of the brain (around the ventricles/water chambers) to the outside surface (cerebral cortex) Disturbances that occur while the brain is developing may cause the cells to not wind up where they should be, causing nests of brain cells in the wrong place, or abnormally formed layers of brain cells. Hence the term migrational disorder. Often these cause seizures later in life.

If you are looking for a general reference, you might try "A Textbook of Pediatric Neurology" by Menkes. It is usually available at every medical school library.


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