This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Triple A syndrome is an inherited condition characterized by three specific features: achalasia, Addison disease, and alacrima (a reduced or absent ability to secrete tears). Most people with triple A syndrome have all three of these features, although some have only two. Several authors published descriptions of a more global autonomic disturbance associated with the original three characteristics, leading one author to suggest the name 4A syndrome (adrenal insufficiency, achalasia, alacrima, autonomic abnormalities). Specific autonomic disturbances described in this syndrome include abnormal pupillary reflexes, poor heart rate variability, and orthostatic hypotension. Affected individuals may also have developmental delay, intellectual disability, speech problems, a small head size, muscle weakness, movement problems, peripheral neuropathy, and optic atrophy. Many of the neurological symptoms of triple A syndrome worsen over time. Triple A syndrome is caused by mutations in the AAAS gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Alacrimia is treated with artificial tears while achalasia may need surgery with either pneumatic dilatation or Heller’s myotomy. Adrenal insufficiency is treated with glucocorticoid and if necessary mineralocorticoid replacement.
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