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Menkes disease (also called the kinky hair disease or Menke's kinky hair syndrome) is a disorder that affects copper levels in the body. It is characterized by sparse and coarse hair, growth failure, and deterioration of the nervous system. Onset of Menkes syndrome typically begins during infancy. Signs and symptoms of this disorder include weak muscle tone (hypotonia), sagging facial features, seizures, mental retardation, and developmental delay. The patients have brittle hair and metaphyseal widening. In rare cases, symptoms begin later in childhood and are less severe. It is a X-linked recessive disorder, therefore males have the disease, while females are carriers. It was originally described by Menkes et al in 1962.
Occipital horn syndrome (sometimes called X-linked cutis laxa), is a mild form of Menkes syndrome that begins in early to middle childhood. It is characterized by calcium deposits in a bone at the base of the skull (occipital bone), coarse hair, and loose skin and joints.
The estimated incidence of Menkes disease is between 1 in 30,000 and 1 in 250,000.
Affected infants may be born prematurely. Symptoms appear during infancy and are largely a result of abnormal intestinal copper absorption with secondary deficiency in copper-dependent mitochonrial enzymes. Normal or slightly slowed development may proceed for 2 to 3 months, and then there will be severe developmental delay and a loss of early developmental skills. Menkes Disease is also characterized by seizures, failure to thrive, subnormal body temperature, and strikingly peculiar hair, which is kinky, colorless or steel-colored, and easily broken. There can be extensive neurodegeneration in the gray matter of the brain. Arteries in the brain can also be twisted with frayed and split inner walls. This can lead to rupture or blockage of the arteries. Weakened bones (osteoporosis) may result in fractures.
The prognosis for individuals with Menkes disease is poor. Most children with Menkes Disease die within the first decade of life.
Early treatment with subcutaneous (under the skin) or intravenous (in a vein) injections of copper supplements (in the form of acetate salts) may be of some benefit. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.
Mutations in the ATP7A gene cause Menkes syndrome. As the result of a mutation in the ATP7A gene, copper is poorly distributed to cells in the body. Copper accumulates in some tissues, such as the small intestine and kidneys, while the brain and other tissues have unusually low levels. The decreased supply of copper can reduce the activity of numerous copper-containing enzymes that are necessary for the structure and function of bone, skin, hair, blood vessels and the nervous system.
This condition is inherited in an X-linked recessive pattern. A condition is considered X-linked if the mutated gene that causes the disorder is located on the X chromosome (one of the two sex chromosomes). In males, who have only one X chromosome, one altered copy of the gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In females, who have two X chromosomes, a mutation must be present in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder. Males are affected by X-linked recessive disorders much more frequently than females. A striking characteristic of X-linked inheritance is that fathers cannot pass X-linked traits to their sons.
About one-third of cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
- MENKES JH, ALTER M, STEIGLEDER GK, WEAKLEY DR, SUNG JH (1962). A sex-linked recessive disorder with retardation of growth, peculiar hair, and focal cerebral and cerebellar degeneration. Pediatrics 29: 764-79. PMID 14472668.
- Barnes N, Tsivkovskii R, Tsivkovskaia N, Lutsenko S (2005). The copper-transporting ATPases, menkes and wilson disease proteins, have distinct roles in adult and developing cerebellum. J Biol Chem 280 (10): 9640-5. PMID 15634671.
- Voskoboinik I, Camakaris J (2002). Menkes copper-translocating P-type ATPase (ATP7A): biochemical and cell biology properties, and role in Menkes disease. J Bioenerg Biomembr 34 (5): 363-71. PMID 12539963.
amino-acids Phenylketonuria - Alkaptonuria - Ochronosis - Tyrosinemia - Maple syrup urine disease - Propionic acidemia - Methylmalonic acidemia - Isovaleric acidemia - Primary carnitine deficiency - Cystinuria - Cystinosis - Hartnup disease - Homocystinuria - Citrullinemia - Hyperammonemia - Glutaric acidemia type 1
carbohydrates Lactose intolerance - Glycogen storage disease (type I, type II, type III, type IV, type V), Fructose intolerance, Galactosemia
Lipid storage disorders Gangliosidosis - GM2 gangliosidoses (Sandhoff disease, Tay-Sachs disease) - GM1 gangliosidoses - Mucolipidosis type IV - Gaucher's disease - Niemann-Pick disease - Farber disease - Fabry's disease - Metachromatic leukodystrophy - Krabbe disease - Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis - Batten disease - Cerebrotendineous xanthomatosis - Wolman disease - Cholesteryl ester storage disease
List of fatty acid metabolism disorders - Hyperlipidemia - Hypercholesterolemia - Familial hypercholesterolemia - Xanthoma - Combined hyperlipidemia - Lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency - Tangier disease - Abetalipoproteinemia
mineral metabolism Disorders of calcium metabolism - Hypophosphatemia - Hypophosphatasia - Wilson's disease - Menkes disease - Hypermagnesemia - Hypomagnesemia - Hypercalcaemia - Hypocalcaemia
fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance Electrolyte disturbance - Hypernatremia - Hyponatremia - Respiratory acidosis - Metabolic acidosis - Lactic acidosis - Hypervolemia - Hypokalemia - Hyperkalemia - Mixed disorder of acid-base balance - Hyperchloremia - Hypochloremia - Dehydration
porphyrin and bilirubin Acatalasia - Gilbert's syndrome - Crigler-Najjar syndrome - Dubin-Johnson syndrome - Rotor syndrome - Porphyria (Acute intermittent porphyria, Gunther's disease, Porphyria cutanea tarda, Erythropoietic protoporphyria, Hepatoerythropoietic porphyria, Hereditary coproporphyria, Variegate porphyria)
glycosaminoglycan Mucopolysaccharidosis - Hurler syndrome - Hunter syndrome - Sanfilippo syndrome - Morquio syndrome
glycoprotein I-cell disease - Pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy - Aspartylglucosaminuria - Fucosidosis - Alpha-mannosidosis - Sialidosis
other Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency - Cystic fibrosis - Familial Mediterranean fever - Lesch-Nyhan syndrome
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