Neurodevelopment disorders in children with craniofacial anomalies

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to examine if children with craniofacial malformations are at increased risk för autism, ADHD, language delays, learning difficulties and psychiatric disorders.

The purpose of this project is to examine the possible role of craniofacial anomalies (craniosynostosis and oral facial clefts) in neurocognitive development. Craniosynostosis is a congenital condition developed through the premature fusion of one or more of the cranial sutures. Prior research offers an inconclusive picture on the condition’s impact on neurocognitive development, both in a short and long-term perspective.  Oral facial clefts (OFC) are the most common congenital birth anomaly. Learning disorders are reported as increased in the OFC population and certain difficulties seem to persist into adulthood. Children suffering from OFC are also reported to have an increased risk to develop psychiatric disorders. However, results are questioned due to methodological concerns. This project is located at Uppsala Craniofacial Centre (, a national center in pediatric craniofacial surgery, and is a research collaboration between the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Surgery (ännskadevård-IKV/) and the surgeons Daniel Nowinski and Malin Hakelius. It aims to increase our knowledge about If there are early detectable developmental delays in children with specific forms of craniofacial anomalies as well as how to improve the care provided for these children and their families. Prospective, cross-sectional and retrospective designs, as well as register studies are parts of the project.

Group members:

Mia Ramklint, group leader
Fotis Papdopoulos
Caisa Öster
Lisa Ekselius
Karin Tillman
Stefan Nasir


Daniel Nowinski 
Malin Hakelius 

Last modified: 2022-09-09