Septo-Optic Dysplasia

Septo-Optic Dysplasia is a rare condition affecting both children and adults which consists of three main abnormalities.

  • Abnormal eye development

Occasionally one or both eyes may be abnormal or the nerves connecting the eyes to the brain may be abnormal.

  • Abnormal development of the front part of the brain (forebrain)

Structures called the septum pellucidum and the corpus callosum which divide the forebrain into two may be absent.

  • Abnormal pituitary gland development

The pituitary gland produces a number of chemicals called hormones controlling growth and development in children. Additionally, the posterior part of the pituitary produces a hormone called vasopressin which makes sure that fluid is retained in the body and patients do not become dehydrated. The pituitary gland is very much a master gland which controls other glands in the body such as the adrenal and thyroid gland.

Adults and children with SOD may have any of these features. Most have two out of the three cardinal features. Approximately one third will have all three problems.