Fahr’s syndrome is a rare brain disorder that occurs when calcium accumulates in parts of the brain that control movement. This can lead to headaches, seizures, and conditions such as dementia.
Fahr’s syndrome refers to a rare brain disorder that can occur when a person inherits certain gene alterations. Atypical amounts of calcium can gather in the parts of the brain responsible for movement.
This can result in a variety of symptoms, such as headaches and seizures, and may result in conditions such as dementia, depression, and anxiety. There is currently no cure for Fahr’s syndrome, so a doctor typically focuses on treating symptoms to help manage the condition.
In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of Fahr’s syndrome alongside the difference between Fahr’s disease.
Fahr’s syndrome is a
Therefore, when a person has Fahr’s syndrome, they may experience movement impairments. This can include stiffness of the limbs, muscle rigidity, and a deterioration of motor functions such as standing and sitting, speech, and tremors.
Fahr’s syndrome can occur when a person inherits certain gene variations from their biological parents. However, they do not always inherit the condition — it can also occur due to an underlying condition or may appear sporadically.
Vs. Fahr’s disease
Fahr’s syndrome and Fahr’s disease typically present with similar symptoms. However, there are some
Fahr’s syndrome involves calcium deposits occurring in the basal ganglia due to another underlying condition. As such, health experts may refer to Fahr’s syndrome as secondary basal ganglia calcification. It may occur between the ages of 30 and 40 years.
Fahr’s disease refers to when calcium deposits occur in the basal ganglia without an underlying condition or cause. It may occur between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
Potential factors that can lead to the development of Fahr’s syndrome
- the brain producing too much calcium
- issues with the blood-brain barrier, which helps control brain function
- the presence of an underlying autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland
- high levels of copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron in the basal ganglia
- issues with the body metabolizing calcium and phosphorus
- infections that affect the brain, such as AIDS, brucellosis, and toxoplasmosis
- exposure to toxins such as carbon monoxide
- autoimmune conditions such as lupus
Fahr’s syndrome can affect the areas of the brain that control movement, such as the basal ganglia. Therefore, a person may experience symptoms that impair or change movement. Individuals may also experience behavioral changes or develop mental health conditions.
Symptoms of Fahr’s syndrome
- a deterioration of motor functions
- slurring of speech
- stiffness of the limbs
- muscle weakness
- sudden jerky or writhing movements
- issues with vision
- depression and anxiety
- behavioral changes
There are also several symptoms of Fahr’s syndrome that may be similar to those of Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle rigidity, tremors, and shuffling when walking.
To diagnose Fahr’s syndrome, a doctor may take a full medical history and carry out a physical examination. They may also ask a person about their family history. This is because someone can inherit gene variations that can lead to Fahr’s syndrome.
A doctor may need to carry out further tests to confirm a diagnosis. Some of these
- an imaging scan, such as an MRI or CT scan, to identify calcium in the basal ganglia
- blood and urine samples to test metal and toxin levels
- genetic testing to determine if certain gene alterations may be present
- testing for underlying conditions such as autoimmune conditions that relate to the thyroid gland
There is currently no cure for Fahr’s syndrome. However, several treatments may help relieve some of the symptoms. Some of these
- pain relief for headaches
- antiseizure medications for seizures
- antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression and anxiety
- neuroleptic medications to help with movement disorders
- gentle exercise and stretching
- muscle strengthening exercises
- exercises to improve posture and balance
- physical therapy
- alternative therapies such as deep tissue massage, relaxation techniques, and sensory stimulation
Fahr’s syndrome is a rare brain disorder that can occur due to an atypical amount of calcium buildup in the parts of the brain that control movement. A person may inherit gene variations that can increase the likelihood of Fahr’s syndrome. However, the condition may also develop due to an underlying condition or occur sporadically.
A person with Fahr’s syndrome may experience issues with movement, such as deterioration of motor functions, stiffness of limbs, muscle rigidity, and tremors. Other symptoms can include headaches, seizures, and slurring of speech. A person with Fahr’s syndrome may develop mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. It can also lead to conditions such as dementia.
To diagnose Fahr’s syndrome, a doctor may take a full medical history and family history, carry out a physical exam, perform imaging tests, and take blood and urine samples for laboratory tests. There is currently no cure for Fahr’s syndrome, so treatment typically focuses on relieving symptoms. These measures can include pain relief, medications for seizures, exercise, stretching, and alternative therapies.