This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is a group of genetic conditions characterized by varying degrees of hearing loss and differences in the coloring (pigmentation) of the eyes, hair, and skin. Signs and symptoms can vary both within and between families. Common features include congenital sensorineural deafness; pale blue eyes, different colored eyes, or two colors within one eye; a white forelock (hair just above the forehead); or early graying of scalp hair before age 30. Various other features may also be present. WS is classified into 4 subtypes (types 1, 2, 3 and 4) based on whether certain features are present and the genetic cause. Mutations in at least 6 different genes are known to cause WS, and it may be inherited in an autosomal dominant (most commonly) or autosomal recessive manner. Treatment depends on the specific symptoms present.
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