The most common clinical symptom Superficial Siderosis patients suffer besides sensorineural hearing loss and ataxia is depression. As your clinical symptoms progress stressors take over; slowly your quality of life begins to change.

Chronic stress can naturally evolve into depression, but there is also evidence of a biological connection. Screening Superficial Siderosis patients for depression needs to be a regular part of their plan of care. Loss of concentration, sleep disturbance, cognitive and behavior changes can be the cause of and caused by depression. Increased physical pain and fatigue can be real consequences in a depressive state. Friends or family often believe feeling sad is run-of-the-mill, so it’s easy to miss the distress.¹

Personality and mood disorders often present in Superficial Siderosis patient when cerebellar degeneration is present.  New studies have shown the cerebellum plays a critical role in mood function.² Depression, anxiety and irritability symptoms are all intensified. Depression, in turn, will elevate pain levels, magnify cognitive difficulties and be responsible for a general feeling of melancholy.

Your yearly plan-of-care should include screening for depression. Therapy sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist will help control feelings and mood.


Updated: June 19, 2018

Sources: Superficial siderosis is a rare neurologic disease characterized by progressive sensorineural hearing loss, cerebellar ataxia, pyramidal signs, and neuroimaging findings revealing hemosiderin deposits in the spinal and cranial leptomeninges and subpial layer. The disease progresses slowly, and patients may present with mild cognitive impairment, nystagmus, dysmetria, spasticity, dysdiadochokinesia, dysarthria, hyperreflexia, and Babinski signs. Additional features reported include dementia, urinary incontinence, anosmia, ageusia, and anisocoria. Superficial siderosis MedGen UID: 831707 •Concept ID: CN226971 •Finding Orphanet: ORPHA247245
Living With SuperficialSiderosis Website PubMed Reference Library 

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