Monday, January 5

Werewolf syndrome

   ›      ›   Werewolf syndrome.
Werewolf syndrome is the informal term for hypertrichosis. The werewolf syndrome is characterized by abnormal growth of hair all over the body.
The affected patient being covered with hair on the face, appears like a werewolf. The werewolf syndrome may be present at birth (congenital) or acquired later on. The hypertrichosis syndrome is categorized into generalized or localized hypertrichosis.

The term werewolf syndrome is more commonly used to denote generalized hypertrichosis. In generalized hypertrichosis the whole body is covered by abnormal growth of hair. Ambras syndrome is a type of congenital generalized hypertrichosis wherein hair growth is also present on the face including forehead, nose, preauricular regions, external ears and external auditory canals, eyelids, cheeks, ears and shoulders. Ambras syndrome may aptly suit the term werewolf syndrome.

What is 'werewolf'?

This word has origin in late Old English word wer(e)wulf, were meaning "adult male human" and wulf meaning "wolf".
Related topics on Werewolf syndrome:
Werewolf refers to a man changing into a wolf. In ancient Greek literature and mythology there are many references to men changing into wolves or other animals. In Europe, there are folklores of men transforming into wolves once every year for several days, and then changed back to their human shape.

These stories give bizarre reasons for the transformation, such as curse, sin, impiety, cannibalism, bite or scratch from wolf, sleeping under full moon, sorcery etc. These supposed werewolves were persecuted and involved in witchcraft trials. By the end of 18th century these beliefs subsided and the wolf-like character has become a subject of fictions and movies.

To know more about hypertrichosis and related information you may follow the links given alongside. Please note that CGH or werewolf syndrome is entirely different from hirsutism. Hirsutism is caused due high levels of androgen hormone in children and women, manifesting as excessive hair growth on the beard, axillary and pubic areas.
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Reference:
1.Trüeb RM. Causes and management of hypertrichosis. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2002;3(9):617-27.
2.Goel N, Rajaram S, Gupta B, Gupta K. Familial congenital generalized hypertrichosis. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2013;79:849.
3.Baumeister FA, Egger J, Schildhauer MT, Stengel-Rutkowski S. Ambras syndrome: delineation of a unique hypertrichosis universalis congenita and association with a balanced pericentric inversion (8) (p11.2; q22). Clin Genet. 1993 Sep;44(3):121-8.
4.Rashid M Rashid, Lucile E White. A hairy development in hypertrichosis: a brief review of Ambras syndrome. Dermatology Online Journal 13 (3): 8.
5.Tadin M, Braverman E, Cianfarani S, Sobrino AJ, Levy B, Christiano AM, Warburton D. Complex cytogenetic rearrangement of chromosome 8q in a case of Ambras syndrome. Am J Med Genet. 2001 Jul 22;102(1):100-4.
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