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Sturge Weber Syndrome

Abstract

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NORD is very grateful to Anne Comi, MD, Neurology and Pediatrics, Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Medicine, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Sturge Weber Syndrome

  • Dimitri Disease
  • Encephalofacial Angiomatosis
  • Encephalotrigeminal Angiomatosis
  • Leptomeningeal Angiomatosis
  • Sturge-Kalischer-Weber Syndrome
  • Sturge-Weber-Krabbe Syndrome
  • Sturge-Weber Phakomatosis
  • SWS

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No subdivisions found.

General Discussion

Summary
Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a rare disorder characterized by the association of a facial birthmark called a port-wine birthmark, neurological abnormalities, and eye abnormalities such as glaucoma. SWS can be thought of as a spectrum of disease in which individuals may have abnormalities affecting all three of these systems (i.e. brain, skin and eyes), or only two, or only one. Consequently, the specific symptoms and severity of the disorder can vary dramatically from one person to another. Symptoms are usually present at birth (congenital), yet the disorder is not inherited and does not run in families. Some symptoms may not develop until adulthood. SWS is caused by a somatic mutation in the GNAQ gene. This mutation occurs randomly (sporadically) for no known reason.

Introduction
SWS may be classified as a neurocutaneous syndrome or one of the phakomatoses. Neurocutaneous syndromes or phakomatoses are broad terms for groups of disorders in which growths develop in the skin, brain, spinal cord, bones and sometimes other organs of the body. These growths consist of abnormal blood vessels.

Some publications break down SWS into three main subtypes. Type 1 consists of skin and neurological symptoms. These individuals may or may not have glaucoma. Type 2 consists of skin symptoms and possibly glaucoma, but there is no evidence of neurological involvement. Type 3 consists of neurological involvement, but without skin abnormalities. Glaucoma is usually not present. Type 3 may also be known as the isolated neurological variant.

Sturge Weber Syndrome Resources

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