This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 1 (PCH1) is a genetic disease that affects the development of the brain. Babies and children with this disease have an unusually small and underdeveloped cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that coordinates movement. A region of the brain called the pons also fails to develop properly. The pons, which is located at the base of the brain in an area called the brainstem, sends signals between the cerebellum and the rest of the brain. Individuals with PCH1 also experience a degeneration of the anterior horn cells, which are responsible for helping the spinal cord send signals to the muscles. Problems with the anterior horn cells cause severe muscle weakness.
PCH1 is caused by mutations to EXOSC3, TSEN54, RARS2, and VRK1. The disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Diagnosis of PCH1 is based on brain imaging and tests to rule out other causes of problems with brain development. Treatment for PCH1 is aimed at relieving the symptoms of the disease. Most children with PCH1 pass away in infancy or early childhood.
For more information, visit GARD.