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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2012 February;64(1):65-70

language: English

Hypomelanosis of Ito: neurological and psychiatric pictures in developmental age

Parisi L., Di Filippo T., Roccella M.

Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Phychology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy


Hypomelanosis of Ito (HOI) is a multisystem neurocutaneous disorder. In the described cases, cutaneous manifestations (unilateral or bilateral streaks and swirls of hypomelanosis with regular and confluent borders) and extracutaneous abnormalities are often associated. Extracutaneous abnormalities involve the musculoskeletal system (scoliosis, vertebral anomalies, cranial-facial malformations) and other organs, as well as the central nervous system (CNS). The most significant anomalies of the CNS are psychomotor retardation and cognitive deficit. Autism, epilepsy, language disorders, cerebral malformations (neural migration disorders, cerebral hypoplasia, cortical atrophy, agenesis of the corpus callosum) are sometimes present. Numerous abnormal chromosomal patterns have been observed. HOI is usually a sporadic disorder; though autosomal dominant transmission has been suggested, recessive and X-linked inheritance patterns have also been reported. This study describes five children with HOI presenting with various features of the clinical spectrum of the syndrome. Some of these cases were referred for psychomotor therapy as part of an integrated neuropsychologic and psychomotor treatment support program. In this view, psychomotor treatment aims to promote the emotional-relational component, to overcome rigid divisions, and to integrate learning-related cognitive aspects with psychodynamic concepts. Finally, the goals of psychological and social support are to help the parents accept their child’s handicap, understand the child’s behavior, plan future pregnancies, and foster an environment for their child’s integration.

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