Andersen-Tawil syndrome is a disorder that causes episodes of muscle weakness (periodic paralysis), changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia), and developmental abnormalities. Periodic paralysis begins early in life, and episodes last from hours to days. These episodes may occur after exercise or long periods of rest, but they often have no obvious trigger. Muscle strength usually returns to normal between episodes. However, mild muscle weakness may eventually become permanent.
Mutations in the KCNJ2 gene cause about 60 percent of all cases of Andersen-Tawil syndrome. When the disorder is caused by mutations in this gene, it is classified as type 1 (ATS1).
Andersen-Tawil syndrome is a rare genetic disorder. Its exact prevalence is unknown, although it is estimated to affect 1 in 1 million people worldwide. About 200 affected individuals have been described in the medical literature. Researchers believe that Andersen-Tawil syndrome accounts for less than 10 percent of all cases of periodic paralysis.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of an altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. When the condition results from a mutation in the KCNJ2 gene, an affected individual may inherit the mutation from one affected parent. In other cases, the condition results from a new (de novo) mutation in the KCNJ2 gene. These cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Published Date: April 01, 2018Published By: National Institutes of Health
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