Objective: Alström syndrome, with type 2 diabetes, and blindness could confer a high risk of foot ulceration. Clinical testing for neuropathy in Alström syndrome and matched young-onset type 2 diabetic subjects was therefore undertaken.
Research design and methods: Fifty-eight subjects with Alström syndrome (18 insulin-resistant nondiabetic and 40 diabetic; aged 8-43 years) and 30 young-onset diabetic subjects (aged 13-35 years) were studied. Neuropathy symptom questionnaires were administered. Graded monofilament and 128-MHz tuning fork vibration perception were assessed in both feet.
Results: Neuropathic symptoms, loss of monofilament, and/or vibration perception were reported by 12 of the 30 young-onset type 2 diabetic subjects (6 had neuropathic ulceration) but none of the subjects with Alström syndrome.
Conclusions: The striking preservation of protective foot sensation in Alström syndrome may provide a clue to the causes of differential susceptibility to neuropathy in the wider diabetic population.