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This form of mucopolysaccharidosis causes little or no corneal clouding. Abnormal retinal pigmentation can be seen.
Sanfilippo syndrome differs from other forms of mucopolysaccharidoses in the severity of the neurologic degeneration compared to the amount of somatic disease. Infants usually appear healthy but developmental delay becomes evident by 2 or 3 years of age and physical growth slows. Deterioration in mental development is progressive and seizures occur in some. Gait and speech are impaired and by age 10 years patients have severe disabilities. Behavioral problems including hyperactivity and aggression are often severe.
There is some hepatosplenomegaly, mild coarseness of the facial features, claw hands and mild bony changes such as biconvexity of the vertebral bodies and thick calvaria. Hirsutism and synophrys are common. The hair is unusually coarse. Joints are frequently stiff and more severely affected individuals may have hearing loss. Diarrhea is frequently a problem and most patients have some airway obstruction and are susceptible to recurrent respiratory infections. Some patients have cardiovascular problems.
MPS III is a lysosomal storage disease and may be caused by mutations in 1 of 4 genes that result in defective enzymes unable to break down mucopolysaccharides (glycosaminoglycans). MPS IIIA (252900)results from a defect in the heparan sulfate sulfatase gene SGSH (17q25.3), type IIIB (252920)from a defect in the N-acetyl-alpha-D-glucosaminidase gene NAGLU (17q21), type IIIC (252930) from a defect in the acetyl-CoA:alpha-glucosaminide acetyltransferase gene HGSNAT (8p11.1), and type IIID (252940) from a defect in the N-acetylglucosamine-6-sulfatase gene GNS (12q14). Heparan sulfate is excreted in all types. Because of their clinical similarities these are discussed as a group in this database. All are inherited in autosomal recessive patterns.
There is no treatment for the underlying disease. Therapy is primarily supportive. A multidisciplinary approach with neurologists, ophthalmologists, audiologists, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, and orthopedists is most likely to result in treatments that can improve quality of life.