Floppy baby syndrome, medically known as the hypotonia, is a condition which features with abnormal reduction of muscle tone accompanied by muscle weakness. This syndrome may be either congenital or acquired. It is usually connected with other diseases. The diagnosis can be easily set, but the doctors need to find the underlying cause of muscle weakness and reduced muscle tonicity. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this medical condition. However, the symptoms may be partially improved with certain treatment modalities.
Symptoms of Floppy Baby Syndrome
The symptoms of this condition basically depend on the underlying cause, age, type of muscles which are affected etc. Characteristic symptoms of this disorder are reduction in muscle tonicity and weakness of muscles. The mother may notice that the baby cannot suck her milk and this leads to hunger. Since the baby is weak its cry is not strong but feeble. Majority of babies affected by floppy baby syndrome are lethargic. Their response to different stimuli is reduced. And there is obvious loss of head control.
Causes of Floppy Baby Syndrome
Floppy baby syndrome accompanies numerous diseases such as Krabbe disease, Werding-Hoffman disease, Down syndrome, Aicardi syndrome, Achondroplasia, Marfan syndrome, Rett syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Menkes syndrome, Myotonic dystrophy and many more.
There are also certain conditions which lead to occurrence of floppy baby syndrome. They include muscular dystrophy, metachromatic leukodystrophy, meningitis, encephalitis, sepsis, infant botulism, Gullian- Barre syndrome, poliomyelitis, myasthenia gravis, celiac disease etc. Floppy baby syndrome may also develop as a consequence of improper vaccination and due to congenital hypothyroidism, hypotonic cerebral palsy, teratogenesis, hypervitaminosis, rickets, kernicterus, brain injury, motor neuron lesions etc.
To sum up, this medical condition rarely occurs on its own and it is usually only one of the presentations of other medical conditions and syndromes.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Floppy Baby Syndrome
Physical examination confirms the presence of specific signs such as improper flexion of muscles, delayed response to stimuli, delayed physical development, speech and feeding problems.
Additional tests and examinations are performed in order to identify the underlying cause of this syndrome and they include CT scan, MRI, EMG, genetic testing, blood test, EGG, muscle and nerve biopsy, spinal taps etc.
There is not definitive treatment for floppy baby syndrome. Still, the goal of the current therapy is to alleviate the symptoms and strengthen the affected muscles. Certain exercises may be helpful and may in some cases increase muscle tone. The child requires physical and developmental therapies. Parents need to be fully cooperative and follow doctor's instruction to improve child's condition.