Neu Laxova syndrome (NLS) is a genetic disorder affecting many parts of the body. Babies born with NLS usually grow poorly during pregnancy (intrauterine growth restriction). At birth, they may be small (low birth weight and short in length) and their facial features are usually different and distinct. The babies may have a small head (microcephaly), sloping forehead, and widely spaced eyes (hypertelorism). Babies with NLS may also have extra fluid (edema) in their hands and feet, brain abnormalities, and rigid, stiff muscles. Other birth defects may affect the baby’s arms, legs, skin, genitals, kidneys, and heart. Not every baby with NLS will have every sign or symptom of NLS.
Neu Laxova syndrome (NLS) is caused by changes or mutations in one of three different genes, PHGDH, PSAT1, PSPH. The mutations cause too little L-serine (an amino acid) to be made. There must be a mutation in both copies of one of these genes, which means NLS is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. NLS can be diagnosed both prenatally by an ultrasound or after birth. The diagnosis is suspected by signs and symptoms, but may be confirmed by genetic testing (prenatally by chorionic villi sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis; after birth by genetic blood test). There is no cure or treatment for NLS at this time, but L-serine supplementation may prove to be an effective treatment in the future if the NLS is found early during a pregnancy.
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