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VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia
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Reviewed October 2009
What is VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia is an inherited condition that affects the development of the brain. People with this condition have an unusually small and underdeveloped cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that coordinates movement. This brain malformation leads to problems with balance and coordination (ataxia) that become apparent in infancy and remain stable over time. Children with VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia may learn to walk later in childhood, usually after the age of 6, although some are never able to walk independently. In one Turkish family, affected people walk on their hands and feet (quadrupedal locomotion).
Additional features of VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia include moderate to profound intellectual disability, impaired speech (dysarthria) or a lack of speech, and eyes that do not look in the same direction (strabismus). Some affected individuals have also had flat feet (pes planus), seizures, and short stature. Studies suggest that VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia does not significantly affect a person's life expectancy.
How common is VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia is rare; its prevalence is unknown. The condition was first described in the Hutterite population in Canada and the United States. This condition has also been reported in families from Iran and Turkey.
What genes are related to VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
As its name suggests, VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia results from mutations in the VLDLR gene. This gene provides instructions for making a protein called a very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor. Starting before birth, this protein plays a critical role in guiding the movement of developing nerve cells to their appropriate locations in the brain. Mutations in the VLDLR gene prevent cells from producing any functional VLDL receptor protein. Without this protein, developing nerve cells cannot reach the parts of the brain where they are needed. The resulting problems with brain development lead to ataxia and the other major features of this condition.
Read more about the VLDLR gene.
How do people inherit VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.
Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
These resources address the diagnosis or management of VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia and may include treatment providers.
General information about the diagnosis and management of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook. Read more about genetic testing, particularly the difference between clinical tests and research tests.
To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
You may find the following resources about VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia helpful. These materials are written for the general public.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
What if I still have specific questions about VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
Where can I find general information about genetic conditions?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding VLDLR-associated cerebellar hypoplasia?
ataxia ; autosomal ; autosomal recessive ; cell ; cerebellum ; dysarthria ; gene ; hypoplasia ; lipoprotein ; malformation ; mental retardation ; population ; prevalence ; protein ; receptor ; recessive ; short stature ; stature ; strabismus ; syndrome ; very low density lipoprotein ; VLDL
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (6 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.