Causes & symptoms
The deletion on chromosome 5 has several indicators. The primary sign is an infant's high-pitched mewing cry during the first weeks of life. This unusual cry is accompanied by low birth weight, slow growth, and a small head (microcephaly). Muscle tone is poor (hypotonia) and possible medical problems include heart disease and scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Children with cri du chat syndrome have language difficulties, delayed motor skill development, and mental deficiencies that vary in severity. Behavioral problems, such as hyperactivity, may become apparent as the child matures.