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large head, short legs - a drug or alcohol symptom?
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large head, short legs - a drug or alcohol symptom?


  A young lady we know was concerned about her daughters
  slow development.  She took her to a pediatrician and he said that
  her 16 month old baby had a larger than average head (as mentioned
  in the microcephaly question), had shorter than
  average legs, shorter than normal overall stature, and hearing loss in her left ear, and that
  her left side motor skills were below normal.  This young
  mother took speed one time in her fifth month and used marijuana
  more than once to allievate nausia.
  Could this type and frequency of drug abuse cause these kind of
  symptons in her daughter?
  The baby seems very normal to us.  Her father comes from a short statured family of which his mother
  is a Native American.
  What are your opinions as to her physical condition?
  Thank you in
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DEAR JEFF,
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CORRELATE ANY FINDINGS YOU NOW SEE WITH WHAT HAPPENED IN UTERO. IT IS UNLIKELY THAT SPEED OR MARIJUANA CAUSED ANY PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS IF TAKEN AFTER 5 MONTHS GESTATION. MOST OFTEN YOU SEE COGNITIVE (MENTAL) IMPAIRMENTS WITH DRUG ABUSE DURING PREGNANCY. THE SHORT LEGS AND LARGE HEAD MAY BE FAMILIAL - LOOK AT DAD'S WHOLE FAMILY, WHAT IS THEIR BODY SHAPE? THERE ARE MANY VARIATIONS IN THE HUMAN PHYSIQUE. THE MOTOR IMPAIRMENTS WOULD BE MY GREATEST CONCERN. YOUR FRIEND SHOULD DISCUSS WITH HER PEDIATRICIAN ABOUT A REFERRAL TO A PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST FOR EVALUATION AND TESTING. BY 16 MOS., A CHILD'S HANDEDNESS HAS PRETTY MUCH BEEN ESTABLISHED, AND WHILE SHE MAY USE THE DOMINENT HAND MORE, THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY GROSS MOTOR DEFICITS IN THE NON-DOMINENT SIDE. LOOK AT THE CHILD'S GAIT, STRENGTH IN HER ARMS, HANDS, LEGS, COORDINATION, BALANCE. IF YOU LIVE IN MICHIGAN, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL OUR PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST AT 313-876-3121.
HFHS.RN-AM




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