Riley-Day syndrome is an inherited disorder that affects nerves throughout the body.
Familial dysautonomia; Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy - type III (HSAN III)
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Riley-Day syndrome is passed down through families (inherited). A person must inherit a copy of the defective gene from each parent to develop the condition.
This condition is seen most often in people of Eastern European Jewish ancestry (Ashkenazi Jews). The disease is caused by a change (mutation) of the IKBKAP gene on chromosome 9. It is rare in the general population.
Breath holding spells (can lose consciousness)
Decrease in sense of taste
Inability to feel pain and changes in temperature (can lead to injuries)
Call your doctor if symptoms change or get worse. A genetic counselor can help teach you about the condition and direct you to support groups in your area.
Genetic DNA testing is very accurate for Riley-Day syndrome. It may be used for diagnosing people with the condition or who carry the gene. It can also be used for prenatal diagnosis.
People of Eastern European Jewish background and families with a history of Riley-Day syndrome may wish to seek genetic counseling if they are thinking of having children.
Katirji B, Koontz D. Disorders of Peripheral Nerves. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds.Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 76.
Klein CJ. The inherited neuropathies. Neurol Clin. 2007;25:173-207.
Chad Haldeman-Englert, MD, FACMG, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Medical Genetics, Winston-Salem, NC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.