Retinitis Pigmentosa, Deafness, Mental Retardation and Hypogonadism

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Only two families with this presumed disorder have been reported.  The retinal picture resembles retinitis pigmentosa with ‘bone spicule’ pigment clumps, vascular attenuation, and pale optic nerve heads.  Cataracts and nystagmus have been observed.  Vision is usually limited to light perception by the middle of the first decade of life.

Systemic Features: 

Small testes and gynecomastia are found in males while females have oligo- or amenorrhea.  The hands and feet appear broad and the face has a coarse appearance with a depressed nasal bridge and a broad nose.  Insulin-resistant diabetes and hyperinsulinemia are present.  Acanthosis nigricans, keloids, obesity, and hearing loss are also features.  All patients have significant developmental delays and evident mental retardation.


No locus has been identified although autosomal recessive inheritance seems likely: the parents in one family were first cousins and there was no parent to child transmission.

Treatment Options: 

There is no effective treatment although cataract surgery might be considered if lens opacities are visually significant.

Article Title: 


Boor R, Herwig J, Schrezenmeir J, Pontz BF, Schonberger W. Familial insulin resistant diabetes associated with acanthosis nigricans, polycystic ovaries, hypogonadism, pigmentary retinopathy, labyrinthine deafness, and mental retardation. Am J Med Genet. 1993 Mar 1;45(5):649-53.

PubMedID: 8456839

Edwards JA, Sethi PK, Scoma AJ, Bannerman RM, Frohman LA. A new familial syndrome characterized by pigmentary retinopathy, hypogonadism, mental retardation, nerve deafness and glucose intolerance. Am J Med. 1976 Jan;60(1):23-32.

PubMedID: 1251844