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ANOTHER syndrome consists of several conditions. It includes alopecia, nail dystrophy, skin lesions, and cutaneous conditions. The syndrome also causes thyroid dysfunction, ophthalmic problems, hypohidrosis, and respiratory tract infections. Experts refer to this condition as an autosomal recessive form of ectodermal dysplasia.
Both men and women with ANOTHER syndrome may experience alopecia, or hair loss. Hair may fall out in patches or begin to thin and fall out permanently. Alopecia in men results in what is called male pattern hair loss, while in women, the result is known as female diffuse hair loss. Signs of alopecia include broken hairs and round bald patches.
In addition to hair loss, ANOTHER syndrome also affects the skin and nails. Patients may notice raised skin lesions, psoriasis, or keloids. Doctors can perform skin biopsies on the lesions to determine whether they are malignant. It is also possible for patients to have subepidermal cysts. The nail dystrophy patients experience from this syndrome can change the color and shape of the nails.
Hypohidrosis is the inability to produce a normal amount of sweat. Many of the skin disorders associated with ANOTHER syndrome can block or traumatize the sweat glands. This lack of sweat can be life threatening because the body can overheat in the absence of sweating.
People with ANOTHER syndrome experience problems with their eyes as well. Many of the problems are a result of having dry eyes. If tears cannot form to protect the eye, infections can occur. Severe dry eyes can cause inflammation, corneal scars, and difficulty seeing. If there is too much drainage from the tear ducts, doctors can insert plugs into tear ducts to reduce it, allowing tears to form the film that keeps excessive dryness from occurring.
Thyroid dysfunction also occurs in patients with ANOTHER syndrome — hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Those with hyperthyroidism have excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is the exact opposite. Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism include insomnia, muscle weakness, and rapid heart rate.
Ectodermal dysplasia is made up of a large group of inherited disorders. Many of the associated problems involve the teeth, skin, hair, nails, and eccrine glands. It is common for patients with ANOTHER syndrome to have mid-facial deformities, such as a cleft palate or lip. To determine the type of ectodermal dysplasia patients have, dentists and physicians work together to evaluate which structures are affected.