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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Overview


Aniridia is an eye disorder characterized by a complete or partial absence of the colored part of the eye (the iris). These iris abnormalities may cause the pupils to be abnormal or misshapen. Aniridia can cause reduction in the sharpness of vision (visual acuity) and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).[1]  Aniridia may occur either as an isolated eye abnormality or as part of the Wilms tumor-aniridia-genital anomalies-retardation (WAGR) syndrome.[2]

People with aniridia can also have other eye problems including increased pressure in the eye (glaucoma), clouding of the lens of the eye (cataracts), or underdevelopment of the structures that carry information from the eyes to the brain (optic nerves).  Individuals with aniridia may also have involuntary eye movements (nystagmus) or underdevelopment of the region at the back of the eye responsible for sharp central vision (foveal hypoplasia). Many of these eye problems contribute to progressive vision loss in affected individuals. The severity of symptoms is typically the same in both eyes.  Rarely, people with aniridia have behavioral problems, developmental delay, and problems detecting odors.[1]

Aniridia may be caused by mutations in the PAX6 gene and is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern.[1]
Last updated: 6/6/2011

References

  1. National LIbrary of Medicine. Aniridia. Genetics Home Reference. June 2009; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/aniridia. Accessed 3/30/2011.
  2. Hingorani M, Moore A. Aniridia. GeneReviews. August 12, 2008; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1360/. Accessed 3/30/2011.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Aniridia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.