During the admission earlier this year, genetics were brought in again due to something seen on an MRI Patrick had done while in hospital.
As most already know, Patrick was diagnosed with Meckel Syndrome. At the time of his birth, there were no tests for this syndrome.
About 3yrs ago when Patrick had his cranial vault expansion, genetics was brought in to see if they could shed some light on what was going on with Patrick. Was there any more or new information regarding Meckel Syndrome? Was there anything else they could think of that could possibly be the cause of what was happening with him?
We found out then, there were now tests available for Meckel Syndrome! I signed papers to give permission to have his blood sent for testing. It had to be sent to the states and would take up to 3 months approximately for results to come back.
Fast forward a few months to the results of those initial tests…
There are actually 7 different tests! Meckel Syndrome can be found on 7 different genes now. When the results came back negative for all 7, we were quite surprised!! This wasn’t the end though! The Genetist was shocked on some of the results and wondered how he was going to tell us.
Apparently, 2 other damaged genes were discovered in this process. Guess what?? Neither of these had ever been seen or documented before! Ever! Anywhere! So we were asked to sign forms to take more blood so they could store his DNA and send it for more in depth testing and that the government would cover the cost of any and all further genetic testing for Patrick. (It will likely take years before anyone finds anything out about these 2 new damaged genes. We’ll be lucky if it’s in our life time)
Fast forward again to earlier this year…
As I mentioned, after an MRI during this admission, something was noticed on the scan and genetics was brought in again.
In one of the pictures from the MRI, you can see something in Patrick’s brain that looks like the shape of a tooth. A molar tooth!
The Molar Tooth Sign
It’s NOT an actual tooth!! The easiest way to describe it, is type of malformation in the brain that just LOOKS like a molar tooth, hence its name.
The molar tooth sign is a classic sign/symptom for Joubert Syndrome.
Joubert Syndrome is another rare, recessive syndrome that hasn’t been around very long, and they are still doing research to find out more about it.
Meckel Syndrome vs Joubert Syndrome
Both of these syndromes, as mentioned, are rare. They are recessive as well, which means they don’t appear very often.
There is no history in either myself or Dave’s family of anything like either of these syndromes, but the genes are carried in the families and can present themselves whenever nature decides to.
*Let me just interject here, that every one of us carries thousands of bad genes! Every one of us has a 25% chance of having a child with any of those thousands of ‘bad’ genes. It also takes BOTH the sperm and the egg to be carrying those same genes for the syndrome or whatever to make itself known. In other words, both the sperm and egg that created Patrick carried these particular genes. If only one of them carried them, Patrick would likely just be a carrier and not have any issues at all.*
Research and information show both Meckel Syndrome and Joubert Syndrome ‘share’ some common genes! And while Meckel Syndrome usually has a not so good mortality rate, Joubert’s is good!
There is continued testing being carried out for both these syndromes, and over the years, more is expected to be learned and found out about each.
The shocker from blood work taken earlier this year for genetics? Now positive for one of the genes for Meckel Syndrome and negative for Joubert!
So what does this mean?
Patrick has the Molar Tooth Sign! That is classic symptom for Joubert! What do we tell doctors and everyone else who asks about this now?
The Answer is…
Patrick DOES have Meckel Syndrome! And while so far the tests for Joubert say negative, he DOES have the classic symptom for Joubert!
Patrick has Meckel Syndrome AND Joubert symptoms!
That’s what we tell people now!
Did you get all that? Please feel free to ask questions if you like. It’s not the easier thing to understand for sure.