We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is MöBius Syndrome?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Möbius syndrome, also spelled as Moebius syndrome, is a rare birth defect caused by incomplete neurological development. The condition is considered very rare, with studies suggesting that less than twenty infants per million are affected. Because of the comparative rarity, diagnosis is often difficult and may not be confirmed until additional symptoms appear. There is no known treatment for Möbius syndrome, though some procedures and surgery may be able to help patients cope with the effects.

The first symptom that may indicate the condition is an inability to suck or breastfeed. The major signifier of Möbius syndrome is a partial paralysis of the muscles in the face, preventing a baby from feeding normally. Other early symptoms can include inability to focus or move the eyes, lack of facial control, and a cleft palate. Depending on the severity of the condition, infants may also have hearing difficulties or missing and deformed limbs.

According to scientific studies, Möbius syndrome is a result of underdevelopment in the cranial nerves. Most cases primarily affect the sixth and seventh cranial nerves, which control facial and eye movement. Some severe cases can also affect other related nerves, leading to sensory, motor, speech and development disabilities.

Infants with Möbius syndrome are often identifiable by their inability to form facial expressions. They tend not to be able to smile or scrunch their faces while crying. Due to paralysis of the lips, they may also have difficulty learning to speak or form words, although many can improve their abilities through speech therapy.

Often, young children with Möbius syndrome are misidentified as having mental disabilities because of their inability to form facial expressions. While patients with the condition do seem suffer from a high rate of autism, many are fully mentally functional. Although children diagnosed with Möbius may have some early education difficulty due to a lack of motor skills or difficulty forming words, they may be able to overcome these early setbacks and enjoy a standard education.

Although there is no treatment that can cure Möbius syndrome, several options can help patients adapt and thrive despite the condition. Physical therapy during childhood can help develop facial muscles and coordination, allowing them to eat and drink normally. Some patients elect to have plastic surgery to correct associated facial deformities, such as a cleft palate or crossed eyes. New surgeries can also implant nerves around the mouth to give better facial control and allow patients greater ability to form facial expressions.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis


With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.