Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) is a group of rare conditions that begin shortly after birth. All types of TTD cause short, brittle hair. This means the hair will be very dry and thin. The hair will also have low sulfur content. Most types of TTD cause slow growth and intellectual deficit. This means that a person with TTD will not be able to think like most other people their age. Most TTD types also cause congenital ichthyosis and nail growth problems. Someone with congenital ichthyosis will have very dry skin. Every type of TTD has its own specific symptoms.
Every type of TTD is passed down from parents to children through genes. Genes are sections of DNA that act as our instruction manual. A person usually has two copies of every gene. One copy is from their father, and one copy is from their mother. An inheritance pattern describes how many mutated (changed) copies of a gene a person needs to have in order to have a certain condition. The inheritance pattern for types of TTD varies. This means that sometimes a person only needs one copy of the mutated gene, and sometimes a person needs two copies depending on the type of TTD a person has.
TTD can be diagnosed by a physical examination. This can usually be done just after birth. There is no specific treatment for TTD. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with trichothiodystrophy, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also good sources of support and information.