Russell Silver Syndrome is a genetic disorder which usually stems from an abnormal balance in growth genes. Individuals suffering from the disorder are commonly shorter in height, with the average male reaching a height of 5ft 1" and the average female reaching approximately 4ft 10". Other characteristics in those with the disorder include a lower bodyweight, smaller stature at time of birth, and a lack of symmetry in either the face, limbs, or other parts of the body.
Other symptoms of the disorder can include low blood sugar levels, curving in the little finger (known as clinodactyly), a larger forehead or a smaller jaw, and issues with digestive function. Those born with the disorder may also be more likely to develop learning difficulties and problems with speech. However, with the right treatment and therapy this can usually be rectified and are less likely to be present in later life.
Like many genetic disorders, there are several names linked to Russell Silver Syndrome. These include Silver-Russell syndrome, RSS, Silver-Russell dwarfism, and SRS. As the disorder shows similar traits to Dwarfism, to non-medical professionals it can sometimes be difficult to decipher between the two.
This rare disorder affects between approximately 1 in every 3000 individuals globally but statistics have also shown that this number can be as low as 1 in every 100,000 individuals. This number increases dramatically however when either one, or both of the parents either have the disorder, or have a history of growth disorders in the family. The symptoms of Russell Silver Syndrome can range from severe to very mild, which means many cases do go undetected.
Individuals with Russell Silver Syndrome do have a number of options in terms of treatments available. Those with the disorder can usually function perfectly well with the right kind of treatment. If diagnosed in early life, the chances of treatment having the desired effect are relatively high. Treatments usually are based around the ingestion of growth hormones usually in the form of an injection, and specifically designed nutrition plans to stimulate growth.
The outlook for individuals with Russell Silver Syndrome is very positive, with the right treatment and hormone regulation those diagnosed can live incredibly fulfilling and long lives. Statistics show that in 2011, the global life expectancy of anyone born with the disorder was 70 years old. This is almost exactly the same as the global life expectancy for individuals born without any genetic disorder. This means that although this disorder can range from mild to severe, the majority of individuals diagnosed can generally live unsupported lives and perform everyday functions. However, it must be noted that there is a lack of long-term studies relating to mortality in regards to the disorder. The statistics gathered are simply a collection of general life expectancy data based on the average age at death of those diagnosed with the disorder.
Disclaimer: It is important to recognise that this article should not be used for any form of diagnosis or treatment of this medical condition. This article is for informational purposes and if you believe that you, or someone you know may be suffering from this Russell Silver Syndrome, please visit a health care professional for diagnosis and treatment options.