Introduction: Skeletal dysplasias, also termed as osteochondrodysplasias, are a large heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by abnormalities of bone or cartilage growth or texture. They occur due to genetic mutations and their phenotype continues to evolve throughout life. Reduced growth is a common feature.
Part of the book: Restricted Growth
Historically, some genetic syndromes and monogenic forms of obesity have been identified by clinical features and by sequencing candidate genes in patients with severe obesity. The phenotypic expression of genetic factors involved in obesity is variable, thereby allowing to distinguish several clinical pictures of obesity. Monogenic obesity is described as rare and severe early‐onset obesity with abnormal feeding behavior and endocrine disorders. Many of the findings emerged from studying families who displayed a classical Mendelian pattern of inheritance. On the contrary, patients with syndromic obesity show a various degree of intellectual disability, different dysmorphic features, and organ‐specific abnormalities. But to date, not all involved genes have been identified so far. New diagnostic tools, such as genome‐wide studies, array CGH, and whole‐exome sequencing, have highlighted more complex models of inheritance, and even more candidate genes were identified. This increase of knowledge may provide insights into the mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight and finally lead to specific treatments. In these patients, hyperphagia is often a primary phenotypic component. Substantial gaps in understanding the molecular basis of inherited hyperphagia syndromes are present today with a lack of mechanistic targets that can serve as a basis for pharmacologic and behavioral treatments. We have evaluated retrospectively the literature data on weight, body mass index (BMI), clinical features, treatments, and treatment response in pediatric patients with forms of genetic obesity. However, this chapter provides an updated picture of emerging knowledge outlined by the more comprehensive genetic approaches, trying to outline more candidate genes for these forms of genetic obesity. Relevant papers will be identified through systematic searches of the PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. All published studies in the English language concerning these disorders will be evaluated. Keywords in the literature search will be entered in all combinations. Searches will be augmented by manually reviewing the reference lists of all original articles and all systematic review articles, with each study being evaluated for inclusion.
Part of the book: Adiposity
Learning disabilities are relatively common conditions in pediatric population. The incidence of learning disability ranges from 1% to 17%, reflecting that learning disability may be not a single clinical entity but a wide distribution of cognitive traits in the population. As reported by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), among the prenatal learning disability causes, chromosomal disorders, genetic syndromes, and inborn errors of metabolism must be taken into account. In this chapter, we will focus the attention on RASopathies, genetic disorders characterized by germline mutations in the RAS-MAPK pathway whose role is crucial in the regulation of the cell cycle, differentiation, growth, and cell senescence. This group of disorders includes Noonan syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, Costello syndrome (CS), Legius syndrome, Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines, and cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome. Mutations in RAS-MAPK pathways lead to impairments in synaptic plasticity, necessary for normal brain function, especially for learning and memory. Variation across the RAS/MAPK pathway syndromes suggests that different gene mutations affecting this pathway can have markedly different developmental effects.
Part of the book: Learning Disabilities