Toggle: English / Spanish
Hallervorden-Spatz disease is a movement disorder that is passed down through families (inherited).
Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hallervorden-Spatz disease usually begins in childhood.
Most cases of Hallervorden-Spatz disease are due to a defect in a gene that makes a protein called pantothenate kinase 2. Patients with this genetic defect have a buildup of iron in parts of the brain.
Signs and tests
The doctor or nurse will examine you and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. The exam may show:
Genetic tests can look for the defective gene that causes the disease. However, this test is not yet widely available. It is only found at certain research laboratories.
Tests such as MRI can help rule out other movement disorders and diseases.
There is no specific treatment for Hallervorden-Spatz disease. Treatment is focused on controlling the symptoms.
Hallervorden-Spatz gets worse and damages the nerves over time. It leads to a lack of movement and often death by early adulthood.
Medication used to treat symptoms can cause complications. Being unable to move from the disease can lead to:
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if your child develops:
Genetic counseling is appropriate in families affected by this illness. There is no known way to prevent it.
Lang AE. Other movement disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 428.
- Last reviewed on 8/28/2012
- Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.