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Case Report: Nakalanga Syndrome Revisited: Long-Term Follow-Up of a Patient Living in Western Uganda, 1994–2018

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  • 1 Practice for Child and Adolescent Health, Baden-Baden, Germany;
  • 2 Kabarole District Health Services, Fort Portal, Uganda;
  • 3 Kagando School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kasese, Uganda;
  • 4 Kabale University, School of Medicine, Kabale, Uganda;
  • 5 Global Health Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium;
  • 6 Vector Control Unit, Ministry of Health, Fort Portal, Uganda;
  • 7 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada;
  • 8 Department of Pediatrics, Regional Referral Hospital, Fort Portal, Uganda

ABSTRACT

Nakalanga syndrome is a childhood developmental disorder that has been reported from various parts of sub-Saharan Africa with the major sign of retarded growth, regularly combined with physical deformities, impaired mental and pubertal development, and epilepsy. We present a follow-up over a 24-year period of a patient living in the Itwara onchocerciasis focus of western Uganda. We demonstrate the strong similarity of Nakalanga syndrome to the more recently described Nodding syndrome, and we discuss the possible causation of both disorders by onchocerciasis. We suggest that the growing knowledge about the tight interconnections between Nakalanga and nodding syndrome, other forms of epilepsy, and onchocerciasis should be taken into consideration in a revised classification system.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Christoph Kaiser, Practice for Child and Adolescent Health, Balzenbergstr. 73, Baden-Baden 76530, Germany. E-mail: christoph_kaiser@email.de

Authors’ addresses: Christoph Kaiser, General Pediatrics, Practice for Child and Adolescent Health, Baden-Baden, Germany, E-mail: drchkaiser@web.de. Christine Mugisa, Department of Health, Primary Health Care, Fort Portal, Uganda, E-mail: authorsmail.c-o_ckaiser@email.de. Donozio Kisembo, Nursing, Kagando School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kasese, Uganda, E-mail: kisembodons@gmail.com. Nolbert Gumisiriza, Kabale University, School of Medicine, Kabale, Uganda, E-mail: gumag5@gmail.com. Robert Colebunders, Global Health Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, E-mail: robert.colebunders@uantwerpen.be. Ephraim Tukesiga, Vector Control Unit, Minstry of Health, Fort Portal, Uganda, E-mail: ephraim.tukesiga@gmail.com. Walter Kipp, Department of Public Health Services, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry¸ University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, E-mail: walter.kipp@ualberta.ca. George Asaba, Pediatrics, Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, Fort Portal, Uganda, E-mail: asaba_george@yahoo.com.

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