22q11.2 deletion syndrome

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22q11.2 deletion syndrome, also known as DiGeorge syndrome (DGS), DiGeorge anomaly,[2][3] velo-cardio-facial syndrome, Shprintzen syndrome, conotruncal anomaly face syndrome, Strong syndrome, congenital thymic aplasia, and thymic hypoplasia is a syndrome caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome 22. The deletion occurs near the middle of the chromosome at a location designated q11.2 i.e., on the long arm of one of the pair of chromosomes 22. It has a prevalence estimated at 1:4000.[4] The syndrome was described in 1968 by the pediatric endocrinologist Angelo DiGeorge.[5][6]

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The features of this syndrome vary widely, even among members of the same family, and affect many parts of the body. Characteristic signs and symptoms may include birth defects such as congenital heart disease, defects in the palate, most commonly related to neuromuscular problems with closure (velo-pharyngeal insufficiency), learning disabilities, mild differences in facial features, and recurrent infections. Infections are common in children due to problems with the immune system's T-cell mediated response that in some patients is due to an absent or hypoplastic thymus. 22q11.2 deletion syndrome may be first spotted when an affected newborn has heart defects or convulsions from hypocalcemia due to malfunctioning parathyroid glands and low levels of parathyroid hormone (parathormone). Affected individuals may also have any other kind of birth defect including kidney abnormalities and significant feeding difficulties as babies. Autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism and hypoparathyroidism or thrombocytopenia (low platelet levels), and psychiatric illnesses are common late-occurring features.[7] Microdeletions in chromosomal region 22q11.2 are associated with a 20 to 30-fold increased risk of schizophrenia.[8]

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