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What is Dwarfism? What are the causes of Dwarfism? – Part 2

Dwarfism just isn’t an ailment, but a medical problem. This could be caused by:
• Genetic disorders.
• Bone and cartilage development
• Growth hormone deficiency, called pituitary dwarfism.
• This is a case where this condition just isn’t transferable genetically.
• Facial features usually are affected.
• Individual limbs might have problems linked to them.
• Orthopedic problems might result from multiple conditions. These conditions are like:
– Diastrophic dysplasia
– Pseudo achondroplasia
– Sexual development is often delayed.
– It may be impaired into adulthood.
– Proportionate dwarfism can lead to intellectual inability.
– The overall stunted growth can lead to impaired intelligence.
– This is when compared to physical age proportionate to the growth factor.
– The person may not be as grown as the person age is.

Physical maleffects
• malformed bones
• joint pain caused by abnormal bone alignment
• nerve compression
• early degenerative joint disease
• exaggerated lordosis
• scoliosis
• constriction of spinal cord
• constriction of nerve roots
• pain and disability
• reduced thoracic size
• restricted lung growth
• reduced pulmonary function
• disordered function of other organs
• malfunctioning of the brain or liver
• severe enough like an impairment than the unusual bone growth

Mental effects
• specific underlying syndrome
• skeletal dysplasia
• achondroplasia
• syndromes which can affect the cranial structure
• syndrome for growth of the brain
• severely impairing mental capacity
• psycho-social limitations of society

Social problems
• social prejudice against extreme shortness
• social and marital opportunities reduced
• reduced employment opportunities
• lower income
• self-esteem may suffer
• family relationships may be affected
• interfering with activities of daily living.
• driving or using counter tops
• they are vulnerable to teasing.
• they are always ridiculed by their classmates
• children may be left isolated from their peers

Other common attributes of dwarfism such as:
• bowed knees
• unusually short fingers
• can lead to back problems
• difficulty in walking
• difficulty in handling objects

Dwarfism Causes

1. Achondroplasia
• 70% of the cases of dwarfism are attributed to achondroplasia.
• This is an auto-somal dominant disorder.
• Presence of an abnormal allele in the genome is observed.
• A mutation is found in the fibro-blast growth factor receptor gene 3.
• This gene acts as an inhibitor to bone growth.
The signs of dwarfism which is caused because of achondroplasia are:
– short limbs
– increase in spinal curvature
– distorted skull growth
– average sized trunk.
• This condition occurs in one in 15,000 – 40,000 newborns.

2. Growth Hormone Deficiency
• Growth hormone deficiency is a medical condition.
• This can be a major cause for insufficient production of growth hormone.
• Somatotropin is a growth hormone deficiency.
• This may be responsible for the stunted growth or halt growth suddenly.
This may occur due to:
– Damage to pituitary gland.
– Turner’s syndrome
– Mutation in some specific genes
– Malnutrition
– Even stress

3. Other Causes
Other causes of dwarfism include
• Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita,
• Diastrophic dysplasia,
• Pseudoachondroplasia,
• Hypochondroplasia,
• Noonan syndrome,
• Primordial dwarfism,
• Turner syndrome,
• Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI)
• Hypothyroidism
• Mucopolysaccharidoses
• Other storage disorders
• Serious chronic illnesses may produce dwarfism as a side effect.
• Harsh environmental conditions, such as malnutrition.

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