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Ataxia telangiectasia

Related Terms

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Background

  • Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare, autosomal recessive disease that progressively damages the brain and causes motor skill development problems. It is a neurodegenerative disease that ultimately leads to death. Most A-T patients die by the age of 20, usually from bronchopulmonary infection. Other patients may die from malignancy (cancer) or from a combination of pulmonary infections and cancer. However, patients who do not develop cancer or chronic respirator problems can live to be 50 to 60 years old.
  • Symptoms usually develop between the ages of one and five, and they become progressively worse with age. The first signs of A-T include delayed motor skill development, poor balance and slurred speech. Telangiectasias (tiny, red "spider" veins), which appear in the corners of the eyes or on the surface of the ears and cheeks, are common characteristics of the disease.
  • About 20% of A-T patients develop cancer, most frequently acute lymphocytic leukemia or lymphoma. Individuals with A-T have a weakened immune system, which makes them susceptible to infections, particularly recurrent pulmonary infections.
  • Between 1 out of 40,000 and 1 out of 100,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with A-T each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
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Causes

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Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.