What are the symptoms of Hallervorden Spatz Disease?

Updated at: Oct 09, 2014
What are the symptoms of Hallervorden Spatz Disease?

Symptoms of Hallervorden Spatz Disease, which vary greatly among patients and usually develop during childhood, may include slow writhing, confusion, disorientation, seizures, stupor, and dementia.

Meenakshi Chaudhary
Other DiseasesWritten by: Meenakshi ChaudharyPublished at: Oct 05, 2012

Hallervorden-Spatz disease is an inherited neurological disorder which causes issues with movement. It is a serious but a rare condition that worsens over time.

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease

Causes Hallervorden-Spatz Disease

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease is a genetic disease which is caused by an inherited defect in the pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2) gene. The PANK2 is a protein that controls the formation of coenzyme A and helps your body in converting fats, some amino acids, and carbohydrates into energy.
But in some cases, it is not caused by PANK2 mutation.

Symptoms of Hallervorden-Spatz Disease

HSD is also known as neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Distorting muscle contractions  in the face, trunk, and limbs.
  • Unintentional and jerky muscles movement.
  • Involuntary muscle contractions that cause abnormal posture or slow, recurring movements.
  • Rigid muscles
  • Writhing movements
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Stupor
  • Seizures
  • Dementia
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Vision changes
  • Poorly articulated speech
  • Facial grimacing
  • Painful muscle spasms

Hallervorden-Spatz Disease Treatment

How Is Hallervorden-Spatz Disease Treated?

There is no cure for HSD so far.  Treatment will vary from person to person and is done to relieve the symptoms. However, it may include both therapy and medication.


Physical therapy helps to  reduce muscle rigidity, muscle spasms and other muscular issues.Speech therapy can be useful for dysphagia or speech impairment.


Methscopolamine bromide can be used for drooling. Baclofen can treat dystonia by providing relief to the muscles.Benztropine is an anticholingeric agent used to treat rigidity and tremors.Memantine, rivastigmine and donepezil may help in dementia.

Image Courtesy : Getty

Read more articles on Hallervorden Spatz Disease Signs and Symptoms


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