Rachelle Dixon, President of the HSAN1E Society discusses the advocacy group she co-founded for hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 1E (HSAN1E), a progressive disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Symptoms of this rare disease typically begin by age 20 to 35 and include sensory impairment of the lower legs and feet; loss of sweating in the hands and feet; sensorineural hearing loss; and gradual decline of mental ability (dementia). The severity of symptoms and age of onset vary, even within the same family. HSAN1E is caused by a mutation in the DNMT1 gene and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. There is no effective treatment, but management may include injury prevention, the use of hearing aids, and sedative or antipsychotic medications for symptoms of dementia.