Can albinism be treated through breast feeding?
Q: My 15 days old baby has albinism like features, could be partial albinism. He has whitish golden hair all over the body. But he has normal Indian fair skin. Neither me nor my husband have these kind of features. Is there anything, which can be given to the mother that will help improve his hair colour through breast feeding? Is there any homoepathic or ayurvedic treatment for this? Could it be something else than albinism? Are there any tests available for this?
A:Albinism is caused by defects in the biosynthesis and distribution of the pigment, melanin. In addition to skin and hair, the eyes also can be affected. Blindness and skin cancer are major late sequelae of albinism in its severe form. Albino individuals are more susceptible to ototoxic agents such as gentamicin. Several clinical forms of albinism are identified, caused by different mutations of the same gene. There is nothing that can be given to the mother to improve the colour of the hair through breastfeeds. It is better to check with experts in concerned fields about cure by homeopathy or ayurveda, but no such therapy is available to the best of my knowledge. Light coloured hair can occur in other inborn errors of metabolism such as phenylketonuria, which has associated delayed mental development. There are no special tests to confirm the diagnosis, but the mutations of the gene can be confirmed by molecular genetic studies.