Adrenoleukodystrophy

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system and adrenal gland. It is caused when the body is unable to break down a certain type of fatty acid, which leads to the accumulation of fatty acids in the brain and other organs. This accumulation causes damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells in the brain, resulting in neurological symptoms. Symptoms of ALD vary based on the age of onset and the progression of the disease. In the most severe form of the disease, cerebral ALD, symptoms typically appear between the ages of 4 and 10 years and progress rapidly. These symptoms include behavioral changes, learning difficulties, seizures, and loss of vision and hearing. The disease can rapidly progress to a vegetative state, and death often occurs within a few years. There is currently no cure for ALD, and treatment options are limited. However, early detection of the disease through genetic testing and monitoring can help slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options include bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy, which replace defective genes with healthy ones. In some cases, dietary changes and hormone replacement therapy may also be recommended. In conclusion, ALD is a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system and adrenal gland. Despite the lack of a cure, early detection and monitoring can help slow the progression of the disease, and treatment options such as bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy are available. Further research is needed to improve our understanding of ALD and develop more effective treatments for this debilitating condition.


From: Neurobiology

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Editor-in-chief: Zheng Jiang, Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Publication Type: Open Access Journal
Description: The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.