OverviewCyclopia, also known as cyclocephaly or synopthalmia, is the rarest birth defect. Unlike most birth defects where the child can go on to live somewhat normal lives, these infants don't live past a few months due to other defects. What causes children to be born with this condition is due to the orbital sockets not forming correctly where only one eye is formed. Sometimes, cyclopia can be attributed to Patau Syndrome where three chromosomes are formed on chromosome 13.
A baby born in Nigeria suffering from cyclopia, courtesy of tubmlr.com
Infants born with cyclopia usually have one eye in the center of their face and typically do not have a functional nose.
CausesSome of the causes of cyclopia are due to excess toxins in the body during early embryonic development. Ingestion of a toxic weed known as Corn Lily or Vetch Weed is sometimes taken by women to reduce cramping and vomiting experienced during pregnancy. A mother in India gave birth to a child with cyclopia that lived for 11 days. It was thought that the reasoning behind why the child was born with this condition was because the mother was taking an anti-cancer fighting drug.
A Indian child with cyclopia who lived for 11 days, courtesy of lightstalkers.org
Another cause of cyclopia could be when other toxins in the body build up when a mother is suffering from alcoholism or diabetes. It is thought that a mother with these preexisting conditions are 200 times more likely to have a child with cyclopia than mothers who do not suffer from alcoholism or diabetes.