X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy digital illustration

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy Save

ICD-10 code: E71.52

Chapter: Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases

X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy: Understanding the Rare Genetic Disorder

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous system and adrenal glands. It is a genetic condition that is caused by a mutation in the ABCD1 gene, which is responsible for producing a protein that helps break down very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs). When this protein is not produced correctly, VLCFAs build up in the body, leading to damage to the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibers in the brain.

X-ALD is an X-linked recessive disorder, which means that it primarily affects males. Females can also be carriers of the disease and can pass it on to their children. Symptoms of X-ALD can vary depending on the age of onset and the severity of the disease.

Symptoms of X-ALD

The symptoms of X-ALD can vary depending on the type of the disease. There are four types of X-ALD:

  1. Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD): This is the most severe form of X-ALD and usually affects boys between the ages of 4 and 10. Symptoms include behavioral changes, difficulty with coordination and balance, seizures, and progressive dementia.
  2. Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN): This is the most common form of X-ALD in adults. Symptoms include weakness in the legs, difficulty walking, and urinary problems.
  3. Adrenal insufficiency: This form of X-ALD affects the adrenal glands, leading to a deficiency in hormones such as cortisol. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, and low blood pressure.
  4. Asymptomatic: Some people with X-ALD may not experience any symptoms and are only diagnosed through family testing or screening.
Treatment for X-ALD

Currently, there is no cure for X-ALD. Treatment options focus on managing symptoms and preventing complications. Adrenal insufficiency can be treated with hormone replacement therapy, while CCALD may require a bone marrow transplant. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can help manage symptoms in those with AMN.

Due to its rarity and complexity, X-ALD requires a team-based approach to diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of X-ALD, it is important to seek medical attention from a specialist who is familiar with the disease.

In conclusion, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a rare genetic disorder that affects the nervous