May 5-12 Is Cri Du Chat Awareness Week

Posted May 9, 2018 - 3:48pm

Also known as 5p-minus Syndrome or Lejeune’s Syndrome, Cri Du Chat is a rare genetic disorder in which a variable part of chromosome 5 is missing or deleted. The disorder was first described by Dr. Jerome Lejeune in 1963, who named it Cri Du Chat, or cry of the cat, based on the characteristic, cat-like cry of affected children.

Each year, approximately 50 to 60 children in the U.S. are born with Cri Du Chat Syndrome.1

Common symptoms of Cri Du Chat include:

  • A distinctive cry that resembles the mewing of a cat during the first few weeks of life
  • Characteristic facial features: round face, broad nose, widely-spaced eyes, crossed eyes, downward-slanting eyelid folds, low-set ears, small jaw
  • Slow growth
  • Microcephaly (a condition that indicates that head circumference is smaller than would be expected for an infant's age and sex)

Cri Du Chat affects females more often than males.2

Children affected with Cri Du Chat benefit from early intervention strategies, including physical therapy speech therapy, special services and other medical, social and/or vocational services.

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Cri du Chat Syndrome is also called 5p- Syndrome, 5p Minus Syndrome or 5p Deletion Syndrome. The “5” meaning the fifth chromosome; the “p” meaning the p arm (short arm) of the chromosome (above the centromere); and the “-“or “minus” referring to the deletion that occurs.

1The 5P- Society
2National Organization for Rare Disorders


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