Rare genetic disorder growing in US


(WAND) - A growing number of people in New Mexico are finding out they have a rare, but dangerous genetic disorder. 

The gene mutation has been passing from generation to the next for more than 400 years. 

The symptoms include memory loss, seizures, involuntary twitches. Tobias Pino, has been managing these symptoms for years. 

He has a condition called, the common Hispanic mutation. It can cause seizures and other neurological problems and even sudden death. It's linked to one of New Mexico's founding families, Cristobal Baca the second and his wife, Ana Maria Lara. 

Pino says several people in his family have the mutation. His brother died from the disorder at just three months old. When he learned his daughter had it, Pino made a big life decision. 

"I decided I wasn't gonna have any more kids," said Pino.

The Baca Family Historical Project was created last year to help raise awareness.  

There is no cure, but doctors are becoming more aware of it. Pino says just knowing what to look for is half the battle.  

For more information on the project, click here. 

NBC NEWS contributed to this report. 

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