Adrenoleukodystrophy describes several closely related disorders that disrupt the breakdown of certain fats. These disorders are often passed down (inherited) in families.
X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy; Adrenomyeloneuropathy; Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy; ALD; Schilder-Addison Complex
Adrenoleukodystrophy is usually passed down from parent to child as an X-linked genetic trait. It affects mostly males. Some women who are carriers can have milder forms of the disease. It affects about 1 in 20,000 people from all races.
Some cases of adrenoleukodystrophy occur when the gene mutates on its own. This is called sporadic and is not inherited.
The condition results in the buildup of very-long-chain fatty acids in the nervous system, adrenal gland, and testes. This disrupts normal activity in these parts of the body.
There are three major categories of disease:
Childhood cerebral type symptoms include:
Adrenomyelopathy symptoms include:
Adrenal gland failure (Addison type) symptoms include:
Adrenal dysfunction may be treated with steroids (such as cortisol) if the adrenal gland is not producing enough hormones.
A specific treatment for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is not available. A bone marrow transplant may stop worsening of the condition.
Supportive care and careful monitoring of impaired adrenal gland function may help in improving comfort and quality of life.
Florian Eichler is a Neurologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Eichler has been practicing medicine for over 25 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Adrenoleukodystrophy. He is also highly rated in 20 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Adrenoleukodystrophy, CACH Syndrome, Leukodystrophy, and Metachromatic Leukodystrophy. He is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Eichler is currently accepting new patients.
Paul Orchard is a Pediatric Hematologist Oncology specialist and a Pediatrics doctor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Orchard has been practicing medicine for over 38 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Adrenoleukodystrophy. He is also highly rated in 13 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Adrenoleukodystrophy, Leukodystrophy, Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 1, and Osteosclerosis Autosomal Dominant. He is board certified in Pediatrics and licensed to treat patients in Minnesota. Dr. Orchard is currently accepting new patients.
Patrick Aubourg is in Paris, France. Aubourg is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Adrenoleukodystrophy. He is also highly rated in 10 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Adrenoleukodystrophy, Addison's Disease, Leukodystrophy, and CACH Syndrome.
More information and support for people with adrenoleukodystrophy and their families can be found at:
The childhood form of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a progressive disease. It leads to a long-term coma (vegetative state) about 2 years after nervous system symptoms develop. The child can live in this condition for as long as 10 years until death occurs.
The other forms of this disease are milder.
These complications can occur:
Contact your health care provider if:
Genetic counseling is recommended for couples with a family history of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Mothers of affected sons have an 85% chance of being a carrier for this condition.
Prenatal diagnosis of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is also available. It is done by testing cells from chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. These tests look for either a known genetic change in the family or for very long chain fatty acid levels.
Published Date : November 01, 2021
Published By : Anna C. Edens Hurst, MD, MS, Associate Professor in Medical Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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