Wolfram Syndrome: Diagnosis, Management, and Treatment

Curr Diab Rep. 2016 Jan;16(1):6. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0702-6.


Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, optic nerve atrophy, hearing loss, and neurodegeneration. Although there are currently no effective treatments that can delay or reverse the progression of Wolfram syndrome, the use of careful clinical monitoring and supportive care can help relieve the suffering of patients and improve their quality of life. The prognosis of this syndrome is currently poor, and many patients die prematurely with severe neurological disabilities, raising the urgency for developing novel treatments for Wolfram syndrome. In this article, we describe natural history and etiology, provide recommendations for diagnosis and clinical management, and introduce new treatments for Wolfram syndrome.

Keywords: Blindness; Deafness; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Genetic disorder; Neurodegeneration; Type 1 diabetes; Type 2 diabetes; Wolfram syndrome; β cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Wolfram Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Wolfram Syndrome / etiology
  • Wolfram Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Wolfram Syndrome / therapy*