What is XYY Syndrome?
XYY Syndrome is an extremely rare pathological condition found in only males where they tend to have an extra Y chromosome. Under normal circumstances, a male has an X and a Y chromosome but in cases of XYY Syndrome the individual has an extra Y chromosome which results in variety of different symptoms.
The most characteristic feature of XYY Syndrome is that the affected individual will be extremely tall. In majority of the cases of XYY Syndrome, the affected individuals will have severe acne while in their teenage years.
Such individuals are also very impulsive in behavior even though their intelligence may not be affected as a result of XYY Syndrome. In some cases, learning disabilities are seen in individuals with XYY Syndrome.
What are the Causes of XYY Syndrome?
The main cause for the development of XYY Syndrome is believed to be an error in cell division in the sperm at the time of conception. The reason as to why these errors occur is still unknown. These errors in cell division results in the child having 47 chromosomes instead of the normal 46 with an extra Y chromosome resulting in the development of XYY Syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of XYY Syndrome?
Some of the symptoms of XYY Syndrome are so mild that it seldom points to a chromosomal disorder resulting in the individual either being misdiagnosed or not being diagnosed with this condition at all.
The most common characteristic finding of XYY Syndrome is the height of the individual. Individuals with XYY Syndrome tend to be extremely tall. This difference in height is usually seen after the age of six when the child starts to grow tall uncontrollably and by the time the child reaches adolescence the average height is greater than 6 feet.
Acne is also a symptom for individuals dealing with XYY Syndrome. This usually presents in the teenage years. Apart from this, there are no symptoms as such to pinpoint towards XYY Syndrome.
In some cases, some children may have a slight delay in reaching developmental milestones. In some cases a child may exhibit learning disabilities and dyslexia as a result of XYY Syndrome.
Individuals with XYY Syndrome tend to be extremely short tempered and tend to be extremely impulsive. They may also show hyperactivity and in some cases may also show antisocial behaviors as a result of XYY Syndrome.
How is XYY Syndrome Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of XYY Syndrome can be made based on the history of the patient, a family history of this condition, a thorough clinical evaluation, and a battery of specialized tests.
If XYY Syndrome is suspected, the individual will undergo a genetic testing which will clearly show the presence of an extra Y chromosome which will definitively confirm the diagnosis of XYY Syndrome.
An amniocentesis which is the examination of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus can also be done which will also show the presence of an extra Y chromosome and confirm prenatally the diagnosis of XYY Syndrome.
How is XYY Syndrome Treated?
The front line treatment of XYY Syndrome is supportive and symptomatic. This requires specialists from various fields to include speech and occupational therapy to assist in the learning disability that the child will exhibit as a result of XYY Syndrome.
In majority of cases, early intervention results in excellent results in treating the learning disability and dyslexia shown by the child due to XYY Syndrome. Individuals with acne may be treated with medications and topical agents. Behavioral problems and impulsivity can be treated with counseling and psychological help as is done with other individuals with such issues. Early intervention can do a world of good for individuals suffering from XYY Syndrome.