Adrenoleukodystrophy; Adrenomyeloneuropathy; Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy; ALD; Schilder-Addison Complex
Definition of Adrenoleukodystrophy
Adrenoleukodystrophy describes several closely related inherited disorders that disrupt the breakdown (metabolism) of certain fats (very-long-chain fatty acids).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Adrenoleukodystrophy is passed down from parents to their children as an X-linked genetic trait. It therefore affects mostly males, although some women who are carriers can have milder forms of the disease. It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 people from all races.
Childhood cerebral type:
Adrenal dysfunction is treated with steroids (such as cortisol).
The childhood form of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a progressive disease that leads to a long-term coma (vegetative state) about 2 years after neurological symptoms develop. The child can live in this condition for as long as 10 years until death occurs.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/2/2009