A review of Alström syndrome: a rare monogenic ciliopathy

Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2021 Nov;10(4):257-262. doi: 10.5582/irdr.2021.01113.

Abstract

Alström syndrome is a rare monogenic ciliopathy caused by a mutation to the Alström syndrome 1 (ALMS1) gene. Alström syndrome has an autosomal recessive nature of inheritance. Approximately 1,200 cases of Alström syndrome have been identified worldwide. Complications of the disease are likely caused by dysfunctional cilia with complications arising early in life. The known complications of Alström syndrome have been reported to impact multiple major organ systems, including the endocrine system, cardiac system, renal system, sensory system, and hepatic system. The symptoms of Alström syndrome have great variability in presentation and intensity but often lead to organ damage. This has resulted in a shortened lifespan for individuals affected by Alström syndrome. Individuals with the disease rare exceed the age of 50. Currently, there are no specific treatments for Alström syndrome that can cure the disease, prevent the complications, or reverse the complications. Current management involves management of symptoms with the goal of improving quality of life and lifespan. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge on the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, complications, management, and prognosis of Alström syndrome. In addition to that, this review also aims to raise awareness and encourage research on Alström syndrome as the condition has a huge impact on affected individuals.

Keywords: cilia; genetic disorder; rare disease; reduced lifespan.

Publication types

  • Review