Image for Adrenoleukodystrophy
Adrenoleukodystrophy

Related Terms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Background

  • Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare and fatal genetic disorder that affects the nerves and adrenal glands.
  • Patients with ALD experience a progressive loss of brain function, and may exhibit a variety of symptoms, including behavioral changes, poor memory, visual loss, learning disabilities, seizures, difficulty swallowing, deafness, difficulty walking, poor coordination, and fatigue. Individuals affected with ALD usually die within one to 10 years after symptoms appear.
  • Patients with ALD accumulate high levels of saturated, very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA), which are fatty acids with at least 20 carbons. VLCFA accumulate in tissues and organs because patients with ALD are unable to produce a protein normally involved in transporting VLCFAs into the peroxisome, an compartment in the cell where they are normally broken down.
  • As a result, the condition leads to the breakdown of the myelin sheath, which is a fatty membrane that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. In patients with ALD, the adrenal glands also often become dysfunctional. When functioning normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, which regulates proper glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and insulin release for blood sugar regulation.
  • Further content available for subscribers only.

Risk Factors

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Causes

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Diagnosis

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Complications

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Treatment

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Integrative Therapies

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Prevention

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

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.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
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.