Brittany in Virginia was diagnosed with NBIA in Feb. 2006.
Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) is a rare, inherited, neurological movement disorder characterized by an abnormal accumulation of iron in the brain and progressive degeneration of the nervous system, according to the NIH
. Most patients experience periods of rapid deterioration lasting one to two months, with relatively stable periods in between.
Symptoms usually develop during childhood and may include slow writhing, involuntary, jerky muscle spasms, seizures and dementia. The disease cannot be treated or cured, but supportive treatments like occupational or physical therapy or speech pathology can help.
The disease affects an estimated one to three out of 1,000,000 people, according to Orphanet