January 25, 2017

moebius syndromeMoebius Syndrome (MBS or Mobius) is a rare neurological condition that can create physical, emotional, and social obstacles. Because the condition is rare, many people know little or nothing about MBS, its symptoms, and its effects on quality of life. Spreading awareness about the syndrome can help end the social stigmas that patients often face. In the spirit of education and awareness, here are our top facts about Moebius Syndrome:

What are the Symptoms of Moebius Syndrome?

This neurological condition can have several symptoms that primarily involve the muscles in the face. Most notably, people with MBS do not have control of the muscles needed for eye movement and facial expression.

Some people living with Moebius Syndrome may have impaired vision, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing, dental problems, and weak upper body muscles. Because the syndrome is not progressive, these symptoms do not get worse with time. With great care, people with MBS can live fully productive lives.

What Do These Symptoms Mean for Everyday Life?

Due to a lack of control of their facial muscles, people with MBS cannot smile, frown, or communicate with their expressions in any way. The lack of smiling can lead strangers to believe that people with MBS are rude or unkind. To fit in, people with MBS have learned to communicate emotions in other ways. Matthew S. Joffe discusses the social aspects of his life with Moebius Syndrome here.

What Causes Moebius Syndrome?

Researchers are still unclear about the exact causes of Moebius Syndrome. However, it is believed to be some combination of genetics and environmental factors. The symptoms of MBS are mostly caused by cranial nerves 6 and 7 being underdeveloped. These cranial nerves are responsible for facial expression and eye movement.

What are the Treatments or Cures?

At this time, there is no cure for Moebius Syndrome. Instead, healthcare teams will help the patient manage individual symptoms.

Sunday, January 24th, 2016 is Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. In addition to the posters and purple that the Moebius Syndrome Foundation suggestions to raise awareness, Epic wants to spread facts about this syndrome and those living with it. We hope you’ll read and share this FAQ to raise awareness for this lesser-known syndrome.