Development of speech, feeding, eating, and facial expression in Möbius sequence

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2001 Sep 28;60(3):197-204. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(01)00532-8.


Objective: Möbius sequence is a rare congenital disorder with the primary diagnostic criteria of congenital facial and abducens nerve palsy. Involvement from other cranial nerves is common. Orofacial anomalies and limb malformations may be associated with the disorder. Mental retardation and autism have been reported in some. The aim of this study was to describe orofacial dysfunction observed in a prospective, multidisciplinary study of individuals with Möbius sequence.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with Möbius sequence, aged 2 months to 54 years, participated in the study. Clinical observations by different medical specialists were collected in an established database. Dentists and a speech pathologist made the orofacial examination. The parents or the patient described orofacial function and dysfunction through interviews and a questionnaire.

Results: Bilateral facial palsy was observed in 16 patients, unilateral palsy in 9. Observed orofacial anomalies were tongue dysfunction (16), micrognatia (8), microglossia (7), cleft palate (4), and cleft lip (1). Seventeen had speech problems, 16 reported feeding difficulties in infancy, 14 eating problems, and 8 drooling.

Conclusions: Orofacial problems are common in Möbius sequence and have a significant impact on the quality of life for the patient and for the whole family. Early intervention by a speech pathologist and a paediatric dentist should be undertaken to improve orofacial function and symptoms. Plastic surgery, oral motor training, facial massage, speech therapy, and orthodontic treatment are some of the therapy methods that can be considered.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Eating
  • Eye Abnormalities / diagnosis*
  • Facial Expression
  • Facial Paralysis / diagnosis*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Speech Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Speech Disorders / therapy
  • Syndrome