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Disease at a Glance

Summary
Alström syndrome is characterized by cone-rod dystrophy, obesity, progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment, acute infantile-onset cardiomyopathy and/or adolescent- or adult-onset restrictive cardiomyopathy, insulin resistance / type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and chronic progressive kidney disease. Cone-rod dystrophy presents as progressive visual impairment, photophobia, and nystagmus usually starting between birth and age 15 months. Many individuals lose all perception of light by the end of the second decade, but a minority retain the ability to read large print into the third decade. Children usually have normal birth weight but develop truncal obesity during their first year. Sensorineural hearing loss presents in the first decade in as many as 70% of individuals and may progress to the severe or moderately severe range (40-70 db) by the end of the first to second decade. Insulin resistance is typically accompanied by the skin changes of acanthosis nigricans, and proceeds to T2DM in the majority by the third decade. Nearly all demonstrate hypertriglyceridemia. Other findings can include endocrine abnormalities (hypothyroidism, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in males, and hyperandrogenism in females), urologic dysfunction / detrusor instability, progressive decrease in renal function, and hepatic disease (ranging from elevated transaminases to steatohepatitis/NAFLD). Approximately 20% of affected individuals have delay in early developmental milestones, most commonly in gross and fine motor skills. About 30% have a learning disability. Cognitive impairment (IQ <70) is very rare. Wide clinical variability is observed among affected individuals, even within the same family.
Summary
Alström syndrome is characterized by cone-rod dystrophy, obesity, progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment, acute infantile-onset cardiomyopathy and/or adolescent- or adult-onset restrictive cardiomyopathy, insulin resistance / type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and chronic progressive kidney disease. Cone-rod dystrophy presents as progressive visual impairment, photophobia, and nystagmus usually starting between birth and age 15 months. Many individuals lose all perception of light by the end of the second decade, but a minority retain the ability to read large print into the third decade. Children usually have normal birth weight but develop truncal obesity during their first year. Sensorineural hearing loss presents in the first decade in as many as 70% of individuals and may progress to the severe or moderately severe range (40-70 db) by the end of the first to second decade. Insulin resistance is typically accompanied by the skin changes of acanthosis nigricans, and proceeds to T2DM in the majority by the third decade. Nearly all demonstrate hypertriglyceridemia. Other findings can include endocrine abnormalities (hypothyroidism, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in males, and hyperandrogenism in females), urologic dysfunction / detrusor instability, progressive decrease in renal function, and hepatic disease (ranging from elevated transaminases to steatohepatitis/NAFLD). Approximately 20% of affected individuals have delay in early developmental milestones, most commonly in gross and fine motor skills. About 30% have a learning disability. Cognitive impairment (IQ <70) is very rare. Wide clinical variability is observed among affected individuals, even within the same family.
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Resource(s) for Medical Professionals and Scientists on This Disease:

About Retinohepatoendocrinologic syndrome

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently, GARD aims to provide the following information for this disease:

  • Population Estimate:This section is currently indevelopment.
  • Symptoms:This section is currently in development.
  • Cause:GARD does not currently have information about the cause of this disease.
  • Organizations:GARD is not currently aware of organizations specific to this disease.
When Do Symptoms of Retinohepatoendocrinologic syndrome Begin?
This section is currently in development. 

Symptoms

This section is currently in development. 

Causes

GARD does not currently have information about the cause of this disease.

Find Your Community

How Can Patient Organizations Help?

Patient organizations can help patients and families connect. They build public awareness of the disease and are a driving force behind research to improve patients' lives. They may offer online and in-person resources to help people live well with their disease. Many collaborate with medical experts and researchers.

Services of patient organizations differ, but may include:

  • Ways to connect to others and share personal stories
  • Easy-to-read information
  • Up-to-date treatment and research information
  • Patient registries
  • Lists of specialists or specialty centers
  • Financial aid and travel resources

Please note: GARD provides organizations for informational purposes only and not as an endorsement of their services. Please contact an organization directly if you have questions about the information or resources it provides.

View GARD's criteria for including patient organizations, which can be found under the FAQs on our About page. Request an update or to have your organization added to GARD

Patient Organizations

4 Organizations

Organization Name

Who They Serve

Helpful Links

Country

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

People With

Rare Diseases

Helpful Links
Country

United States

Participating in Clinical Studies

Clinical studies are part of clinical research and play an important role in medical advances, including for rare diseases. Through clinical studies, researchers may ultimately uncover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose, and understand human diseases.

What Are Clinical Studies?

  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about clinical trials from this U.S. Food & Drug Administration webpage.

Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

Join the All of Us Research Program!

What Are Clinical Studies?

Clinical studies are medical research involving people as participants. There are two main types of clinical studies:
  1. Clinical trials determine if a new test or treatment for a disease is effective and safe by comparing groups receiving different tests/treatments.
  2. Observational studies involve recording changes over time among a specific group of people in their natural settings.
Learn more about clinical trials from this U.S. Food & Drug Administration webpage.
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Why Participate in Clinical Studies?

People participate in clinical trials for many reasons. People with a disease may participate to receive the newest possible treatment and additional care from clinical study staff as well as to help others living with the same or similar disease. Healthy volunteers may participate to help others and to contribute to moving science forward.

To find the right clinical study we recommend you consult your doctors, other trusted medical professionals, and patient organizations. Additionally, you can use ClinicalTrials.gov to search for clinical studies by disease, terms, or location.
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What if There Are No Available Clinical Studies?

Join the All of Us Research Program!

ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Contact a GARD Information Specialist if you need help finding more information on this rare disease or available clinical studies. Please note that GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies. 
Available toll-free Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm Eastern Time
(Except: Federal Holidays)
Use the contact form to send your questions to a GARD Information Specialist.

Please allow 2 to 10 business days for us to respond.
ClinicalTrials.gov, an affiliate of NIH, provides current information on clinical research studies in the United States and abroad. Talk to a trusted doctor before choosing to participate in any clinical study. We recommend checking this site often and searching for studies with related terms/synonyms to improve results.
Contact a GARD Information Specialist if you need help finding more information on this rare disease or available clinical studies. Please note that GARD cannot enroll individuals in clinical studies. 
Available toll-free Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm Eastern Time
(Except: Federal Holidays)
Use the contact form to send your questions to a GARD Information Specialist.

Please allow 2 to 10 business days for us to respond.
Getting a Diagnosis

Take steps toward getting a diagnosis by working with your doctor, finding the right specialists, and coordinating medical care.

Last Updated: June 2024