Christianson syndrome is a genetic disease that is transmitted through the affected X chromosome. Males have only one chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes in each cell. Thus, males get affected with Christianson Syndrome if the existing one X chromosome is affected. On the other hand, both the X chromosomes need to be affected in females to exhibit this condition.
Females can exist as carriers if only one X chromosome is affected. In carrier state, they can pass this condition to their offspring and/or exhibit symptoms of Christianson Syndrome of mild severity.
Males are more commonly affected in comparison to females. In general, it is a very rare condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Christianson Syndrome
Symptoms of Christianson Syndrome usually present during infancy, but they can even present in older children. The syndrome usually affects the nervous system.
Affected kids have problems with development, walking, standing, reasoning and coordination. Some children might learn to walk, but eventually they loose the ability to walk.
Seizures are common in this condition, which usually start to appear between the ages of 1 and 2 years. Usually children with this condition look happy with frequent/ spontaneous laughter.
Symptoms related to nervous system:
• Developmental delay
• Difficulty walking or standing
• Difficulty in logical thinking, reasoning
• Uncontrolled drooling
• Difficulty in maintaining balance and coordination
• Inability to speak
• Difficulty swallowing
Signs of Christianson Syndrome:
• Long, narrow face with prominent nose, jaw and ears
• Abnormal eye movements
• Open mouth
• Small size of the head(Microcephaly)
• Autistic spectrum disorder
Diagnosis and Treatment of Christianson Syndrome
Molecular genetic testing confirms the diagnosis of Christianson syndrome. Diagnosis of Christianson syndrome is based on the following:
Genetic testing: Demonstration of the defect in the gene helps in the diagnosis of Christainson syndrome.
MRI: MRI of the brain shows several changes which are diagnostic of Christianson syndrome.
Elevated glutamate/ glutamine levels are found in the basal ganglia of individuals affected with this condition.
Treatment of Christinanson Syndrome:
No specific treatment is available for Christianson syndrome. Symptomatic treatment with supportive care is the main stay of management for this condition. Prognosis is poor.