Variant DWS with dysplasia of the pons and cerebellum in an 8-year old. There are three subtypes which affect multiple organs to varying degrees, but the fundamental abnormalities involve the cerebellum which controls muscle coordination. The adjacent fourth ventricle is often affected, which can alter the flow physiotherapy management of hydrocephalus pdf cerebrospinal fluid, increase intracranial pressure, and lead to multiple other brain function problems.
The degree of disability varies but is typically lifelong. Treatment may involve physical therapy, special education, or surgical placement of a cerebral shunt. It is named for Walter Dandy and Arthur Earl Walker.
Walker malformation, signs and symptoms caused by abnormal brain development are present at birth or develop within the first year of life. Up to half of affected individuals have intellectual disability that ranges from mild to severe, and those with normal intelligence may have learning disabilities. Walker malformation often have delayed development, particularly a delay in motor skills such as crawling, walking, and coordinating movements.
While rare, hearing and vision problems can be features of this condition. An increase in the size of the fluid spaces surrounding the brain as well as an increase in pressure may also be present. The syndrome can appear dramatically or develop unnoticed. Symptoms, which often occur in early infancy, include slower motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull.
In older children, symptoms of increased intracranial pressure such as irritability, vomiting, and convulsions and signs of cerebellar dysfunction such as unsteadiness and lack of muscle coordination or jerky movements of the eyes may occur. Other symptoms include increased head circumference, bulging at the back of the skull, problems with the nerves that control the eyes, face and neck, and abnormal breathing patterns. Walker syndrome is frequently associated with disorders of other areas of the central nervous system including absence of the corpus callosum, the bundle of axons connecting the two cerebral hemispheres, and malformations of the heart, face, limbs, fingers and toes. Walker complex is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs one in every 30,000 live births.