The Norrie disease and MAO genes are tandemly arranged in the p11.4-p11.3 region of the human X chromosome in the order tel-MAOA-MAOB-NDP-cent. This relationship is conserved in the mouse in the order tel-MAOB-MAOA-NDP-cent. The MAO genes appear to have arisen by tandem duplication of an ancestral MAO gene, but their positional relationship to NDP appears to be random. Distinctive X-linked syndromes have been described for mutations in the MAOA and NDP genes, and in addition, individuals have been identified with contiguous gene syndromes due to chromosomal deletions which encompass two or three of these genes. Loss of function of the NDP gene causes a syndrome of congenital blindness and progressive hearing loss, sometimes accompanied by signs of CNS dysfunction, including variable mental retardation and psychiatric symptoms. Other mutations in the NDP gene have been found to underlie another X-linked eye disease, exudative vitreo-retinopathy. An MAOA deficiency state has been described in one family to date, with features of altered amine and amine metabolite levels, low normal intelligence, apparent difficulty in impulse control and cardiovascular difficulty in affected males. A contiguous gene syndrome in which all three genes are lacking, as well as other as yet unidentified flanking genes, results in severe mental retardation, small stature, seizures and congenital blindness, as well as altered amine and amine metabolites. Issues that remain to be resolved are the function of the NDP gene product, the frequency and phenotype of the MAOA deficiency state, and the possible occurrence and phenotype of an MAOB deficiency state.