This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) is a rare disease characterized by a progressive degeneration of the nervous system (neurodegenerative disorder) and buildup of iron in the brain. PKAN is usually classified into two forms: classic and atypical. Classic PKAN causes symptoms in the first ten years of life. The atypical form of PKAN usually occurs after the age of ten and progresses more slowly. All individuals with PKAN have an abnormal buildup of iron in certain areas of the brain. A particular change, called the eye-of-the-tiger sign, which indicates a buildup of iron, is typically seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain in people with this disorder. PKAN is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and is caused by mutations in the PANK2 gene. Treatment depends on the symptoms, and may include medication (such as botulinum toxin), surgery, deep brain stimulation and physical therapy. Research for a more effective treatment is ongoing.
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