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Scheie Syndrome

Scheie Syndrome Causes

Scheie syndrome is a hereditary disorder with an autosomal recessive pattern. The disease develops as a consequence of the malfunction or absence of certain lysosomal enzymes necessary to break down glycosaminoglycans, or long chains of sugar that help in the development of bone, cartilage, tendons, skin, cornea, and connective tissue. As a result of the absence/malfunctioning of relevant enzymes, high amounts of glycosaminoglycans abnormally accumulate in the blood, cells, and connective tissues, leading to permanent and progressive cellular damage.

Scheie Syndrome Definition

Scheie syndrome is the mildest form of MPS I, the most frequently occurring type of Mucopolysaccharidosis, or a group of hereditary metabolic diseases that result from the malfunctioning or absence of lysosomal enzymes necessary for breaking down long chains of sugar carbohydrates known as glycosaminoglycans.

Scheie Syndrome Diagnosis

Scheie syndrome (or MPS in general) can be diagnosed clinically with physical examination coupled with urine tests to screen for excretion of excess mucopolysaccharides in the urine. Enzyme assays can also be done to confirm the diagnosis. To verify if a fetus carries the defective gene, chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis can be done for a prenatal diagnosis. For parents with a family history of the disease, genetic counseling may also help.

Scheie Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

In general, all types of mucopolysaccharidosis can lead to permanent and progressive cellular damage that impairs the physical abilities, appearance, organ/system functioning, and mental development of affected individuals. Scheie syndrome, also known as MPS I S, typically manifests at age 5, but most commonly diagnosed after the 10th year of life. Children with Scheie syndrome have normal intelligence with some mild learning disabilities. In some cases, psychiatric problems may occur. Vision may be significantly impaired due to retinal degeneration, glaucoma, and clouded corneas. Other symptoms of Scheie syndrome include joint stiffness, carpal tunnel syndrome (or some other form of nerve compression), deformities in the hands and feet, a short neck, and aortic valve disease. Obstructive airway disease and sleep apnea have also been known to occur. Individuals with Scheie syndrome can survive well into adulthood.

Scheie Syndrome Treatment

To date, there is no known cure for Scheie syndrome or any of the mucopolysaccharidosis disorders. Treatment is generally geared towards alleviating the systemic symptoms as well as improving the affected patient's quality of life. Physical therapy along with daily exercise is often recommended to improve mobility as well as delay the onset of joint problems. Currently, enzyme replacement is being tested as a treatment option.

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