What is Wolfram Syndrome?


Note: This article is part of our library of resources for Forms of Diabetes.

What is Wolfram Syndrome?

Wolfram Syndrome, also called DIDMOAD (diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy and deafness), is a rare genetic disorder that causes type 1 diabetes and other serious conditions from excessively high blood sugars. It usually occurs in children by the age of 6 and type 1 diabetes is the first symptom. Due to the ensuing complications, life expectancy is around 30 years.

What are symptoms of Wolfram Syndrome?

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Optic atrophy (blindness caused from nerve damage between the eyes and brain)
  • Deafness (due to changes in the inner ear)
  • Urinary track problems
  • A large bladder that cannot empty normally
  • Disrupted urination
  • Psychosis
  • Severe depression

What is Wolfram Syndrome Type 2?

Wolfram syndrome type 2 has similar symptoms of Wolfram Syndrome type 1 but additionally is accompanied by stomach or intestinal ulcers and heavy bleeding after an injury in the gastrointestinal system. People with Wolfram Syndrome type 2 do not develop diabetes insipidus (NIH).

Read Audrey’s story and her journey with Wolfram Syndrome.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 11/18/16, UPDATED 12/26/22

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.