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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Alpers syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Alpers diffuse degeneration of cerebral gray matter with hepatic cirrhosis
  • Alpers disease
  • Alpers progressive infantile poliodystrophy
  • Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome
  • Diffuse cerebral degeneration in infancy
More Names
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What is Alpers syndrome?

How might Alpers syndrome be treated?

What is Alpers syndrome?

Alpers syndrome is a progressive neurologic disorder that begins during childhood and is complicated in many instances by serious liver disease. Symptoms include increased muscle tone with exaggerated reflexes (spasticity), seizures, and loss of cognitive ability (dementia). [1]  Most often Alpers syndrome is caused by mutations in the POLG gene. [2]
Last updated: 1/24/2011

How might Alpers syndrome be treated?

Treatment for Alpers syndrome is limited to managment of symptoms and supportive care. There is currently no cure. [2] [3]
A multi-disciplinary medical team of a gastroenterologist, neurologist, occupational, physical and/or speech therapist can assist with management of symptoms to maintain function as long as possible, insure comfort and promote the best possible quality-of-life. [2]
Last updated: 5/26/2011

  1. NORD. Alpers Disease. NORD: National Organization for Rare Disease. 2007; Accessed 1/20/2011.
  2. Cohen B, Chinnery P, Copeland W. POLG-Related Disorders. GeneReviews. March 16, 2010; Accessed 1/20/2011.
  3. Naviaux R K. Alpers syndrome. Orphanet. July 2006; Accessed 1/20/2011.