FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion syndrome is a severe condition that begins in infancy and affects multiple body systems. It is primarily associated with brain dysfunction combined with muscle weakness (encephalomyopathy).
Infants with FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mtDNA depletion syndrome have weak muscle tone (hypotonia) and a failure to grow or gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). Children with FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mtDNA depletion syndrome have delayed development of mental and motor skills and severely impaired speech development. Many affected individuals have seizures, movement abnormalities, and an unusually small head size (microcephaly) with a loss of nerve cells in the brain (cerebral atrophy).
All individuals with FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mtDNA depletion syndrome have a buildup of a chemical called lactic acid in the body (lactic acidosis), and about half of individuals have an accumulation of ammonia in the blood. Buildup of these substances can be life-threatening. Many affected individuals also have heart abnormalities, such as congenital heart defects or heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmias). In addition, individuals with this condition can have vision problems, hearing loss, liver abnormalities (hepatopathy), and immune deficiency due to a decrease in white blood cells. Many children with FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mtDNA depletion syndrome have distinctive facial features that can include thick eyebrows; outside corners of the eyes that point upward (upslanting palpebral fissures); a broad nasal bridge and tip; and a long, smooth space between the upper lip and nose (philtrum).
Because the encephalomyopathy and other signs and symptoms are so severe, people with FBXL4-related encephalomyopathic mtDNA depletion syndrome usually live only into early childhood.
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