Rare Disease Daily #5: 15q13.3 Microdeletion Syndrome
Updated: May 12
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences describes 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome as a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of several genes on chromosome 15. When a syndrome is caused by the deletion of several genes, it is also known as a microdeletion syndrome or a contiguous gene deletion syndrome. Individuals with 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome may have very different signs and symptoms from other affected individuals (even within the same family), or no symptoms at all. Features of the condition may include mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, learning delays, or normal intelligence; autism spectrum disorders; epilepsy (recurring seizures); and mental illness (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder). Various dysmorphic (abnormally formed) features have been reported, but there are no consistent physical features among individuals who have the condition. 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome is caused by a deletion on the long arm of chromosome 15 that spans at least 7 genes and usually includes the CHRNA7 gene.It can be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner with reduced penetrance, or can occur as a new (de novo) deletion.
The prevalence of this disorder is currently unknown, with nearly 150 cases being reported, according to Orphanet. Diagnosis should be suspected in any infant or child with developmental delay/intellectual disability, autism, schizophrenia, seizures, hypotonia, and/or minor dysmorphic features. Microdel15q13.3 is not detected using conventional karyotyping (G-banding) but can be detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH).
There is still a lot of research lacking in our understanding of this disorder as well as how to help those who experience it. It doesn’t matter how small the community is. One person alone deserves research and aid, so why not help these patients? To learn more, visit the links in the episode transcription and do what you can to help organizations working towards solutions through volunteering, donating, and whatever other ways you’ve got.
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This was Rare Disease Daily #5, 15q13.3 Microdeletion Syndrome.
I’m yannick-robin. Thank you for your time.