Dandy–Walker malformation (DWM), also known as Dandy–Walker syndrome (DWS), is a rare congenital brain malformation in which the part joining the two hemispheres of the cerebellum (the cerebellar vermis) does not fully form, and the fourth ventricleand space behind the cerebellum (the posterior fossa) are enlarged with cerebrospinal fluid. Most of those affected develop hydrocephalus within the first year of life, which can present as increasing head size, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, irritability, downward deviation of the eyes and seizures. Other, less common symptoms are generally associated with comorbid genetic conditions and can include congenital heart defects, eye abnormalities, intellectual disability, congenital tumours, other brain defects such as agenesis of the corpus callosum, skeletal abnormalities, occipital encephaloceles and underdeveloped genitalia or kidneys.It is sometimes discovered in adolescents or adults due to mental health problems.
Hydrocephalus: increasing head size, vomiting, excessive sleepiness, irritability, vertical gaze palsy, seizures.
Associated genetic conditions: congenital heart defects, eye abnormalities, intellectual disability, agenesis of the corpus callosum, skeletal abnormalities, etc.
DWM is caused by any disruption to embryonic development that affects the formation of the cerebellar vermis. This is usually a genetic mutation that results in impaired cell migration and division. A large number of genetic conditions can result in the anomaly. In a large portion of DWM cases, the condition is identified in the person affected, however in most cases the cause is not identified. At least 21% of those with DWM have a sibling with the malformation, and at least 16% have a parent with the malformation.