PURA syndrome

Also known as: PURA-related neurodevelopmental disorder, PURA-related severe neonatal hypotonia-seizures-encephalopathy syndrome


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PURA syndrome is a condition characterized by intellectual disability and delayed development of speech and motor skills, such as walking. Expressive language skills (vocabulary and the production of speech) are generally more severely affected than receptive language skills (the ability to understand speech), and most affected individuals are unable to speak. People with PURA syndrome may learn to walk later than their peers; many are never able to walk. In infancy, affected infants have very weak muscle tone (hypotonia) and feeding difficulties. Problems with swallowing (dysphagia) can last throughout life. In addition, affected infants can be excessively sleepy (hypersomnolent), have a low body temperature (hypothermia), and have short pauses in breathing (apnea) or episodes of abnormally slow breathing (hypoventilation). These breathing problems usually go away after age 1.

Recurrent seizures (epilepsy) are also common in PURA syndrome. Seizures usually begin before age 5 with uncontrolled muscle jerks (myoclonus). Other types of seizures can develop, such as generalized tonic-clonic seizures, which involve loss of consciousness, muscle rigidity, and convulsions. In people with PURA syndrome, seizures are often difficult to control.

Other features in people with PURA syndrome can include abnormalities of the heart, eyes, urogenital tract, gastrointestinal tract, and skeleton. Some affected individuals have symptoms of a hormonal problem, such as early sexual development (precocious puberty) or low levels of vitamin D (which is a hormone).

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Medical Term Other Names Description
Feeding difficulties Feeding problems, Poor feeding Impaired ability to eat related to problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it.
Loss of consciousness Passing out
Generalized hypotonia Generalized muscular hypotonia, Decreased muscle tone, Low muscle tone, Hypotonia [more] Generalized muscular hypotonia (abnormally low muscle tone).
Apnea Apnoea, Apneic episodes, Absence of spontaneous respiration [more] Lack of breathing with no movement of the respiratory muscles and no exchange of air in the lungs. This term refers to a disposition to have recurrent episodes of apnea rather than to a single event.
Abnormal heart morphology Congenital heart defects, Abnormally shaped heart, Cardiac anomalies, Abnormality of cardiac morphology, Abnormality of the heart [more] Any structural anomaly of the heart.
Dysphagia Poor swallowing, Deglutition disorder, Swallowing difficulty, Swallowing difficulties [more] Difficulty in swallowing.
Hypoventilation Slow breathing, Respiratory depression, Alveolar hypoventilation, Under breathing [more] A reduction in the amount of air transported into the pulmonary alveoli by breathing, leading to hypercapnia (increase in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide).
Hypothermia Abnormally low body temperature Reduced body temperature due to failed thermoregulation.
Hypersomnia Excessive sleepiness
Drowsiness Sleepy Excessive daytime sleepiness.
Rigidity Muscle rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity.
Global developmental delay Psychomotor developmental delay, Psychomotor retardation, Developmental delay, Lack of psychomotor development, Cognitive delay, Delayed intellectual development, Delayed milestones, Psychomotor development deficiency, Developmental retardation, Motor and developmental delay, Developmental delay in early childhood, Retarded psychomotor development, Retarded mental development, Delayed cognitive development, Retarded development, Delayed developmental milestones, Delayed development, Psychomotor development failure, Mental and motor retardation, Psychomotor delay, Delayed psychomotor development [more] A delay in the achievement of motor or mental milestones in the domains of development of a child, including motor skills, speech and language, cognitive skills, and social and emotional skills. This term should only be used to describe children younger than five years of age.
Precocious puberty Early puberty, Early onset of puberty The onset of secondary sexual characteristics before a normal age. Although it is difficult to define normal age ranges because of the marked variation with which puberty begins in normal children, precocious puberty can be defined as the onset of puberty before the age of 8 years in girls or 9 years in boys.
Myoclonus Jerking, Myoclonic jerks, Involuntary jerking movements [more] Very brief, involuntary random muscular contractions occurring at rest, in response to sensory stimuli, or accompanying voluntary movements.
Seizures Epilepsy Seizures are an intermittent abnormality of the central nervous system due to a sudden, excessive, disorderly discharge of cerebral neurons and characterized clinically by some combination of disturbance of sensation, loss of consciousness, impairment of psychic function, or convulsive movements. The term epilepsy is used to describe chronic, recurrent seizures.
Generalized tonic-clonic seizures Grand mal seizures, Seizures, tonic-clonic, Tonic-clonic convulsions, Generalised tonic-clonic seizures [more] Generalized tonic-clonic seizures are generalized seizures with bilateral symmetrical tonic contraction then bilateral clonic contractions of somatic muscles usually associated with autonomic phenomena.
Intellectual disability Nonprogressive intellectual disability, Poor school performance, Mental-retardation, Dull intelligence, Nonprogressive mental retardation, Mental deficiency, Mental retardation, nonspecific, Low intelligence [more] Subnormal intellectual functioning which originates during the developmental period. Intellectual disability, previously referred to as mental retardation, has been defined as an IQ score below 70.

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