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OCA2: Brown Albinism

Bell Family from JacksonvilleOculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2) is characterized by hypopigmentation of the skin and hair and the characteristic ocular changes found in all types of albinism, including nystagmus; reduced iris pigment with iris translucency; reduced retinal pigment with visualization of the choroidal blood vessels on ophthalmoscopic examination; foveal hypoplasia associated with reduction in visual acuity; and misrouting of the optic nerve fiber radiations at the chiasm, associated with strabismus, reduced stereoscopic vision, and altered visual evoked potentials (VEP).

Individuals with OCA2 are usually recognized within the first three to six months of life because of the ocular features of visual inattention, nystagmus, and strabismus. Vision is stable to slowly improving after early childhood until mid- to late teens, and no major change or loss of established visual acuity occurs related to the albinism. The amount of cutaneous pigmentation in OCA2 ranges from minimal to near-normal compared to others of the same ethnic and family backgrounds. Newborns with OCA2 almost always have lightly pigmented hair, brows, and lashes, with color ranging from light yellow to blond to brown. Hair color may darken with age but does not vary substantially from adolescence to adulthood. Brown OCA, initially identified in Africans and African Americans with light brown hair and skin, is part of the spectrum of OCA2

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