Any other diseases that look a lot like adrenoleukodystrophy?

Many of the symptoms seen in adrenoleukodystrophy are also present in other disorders. Most notably, one of the earliest sign of adrenoleukodystrophy is difficulty with attention, which may lead to a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD). Attention deficit disorder has many causes, and the vast majority of cases are unrelated to adrenoleukodystrophy. Seizures can also present in adrenoleukodystrophy, but there are many causes for seizures, as well. Other leukodystrophies, such as Krabbe disease or metachromatic leukodystrophy, may also have similar symptoms to childhood cerebral X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

The adrenomyeloneuropathy form of adrenoleukodystrophy, which often presents with muscle weakness and tingling in the feet and legs, may look like multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Other symptoms have overlap with Alzheimer disease, psychosis, brain tumors, and other conditions.

An individual showing the signs of adrenal insufficiency may be diagnosed with Addison's disease. Adrenoleukodystrophy is the most common genetic cause of Addison's disease, but most cases of Addison's disease are not caused by adrenoleukodystrophy. Addison's disease is often related to autoimmune disorders, infections, and can also be triggered by environmental factors, such as stopping corticosteroid medication, or changes to the pituitary gland in the brain.

Because of this overlap in symptoms, individuals with adrenoleukodystrophy may go through a "diagnostic odyssey" before they are correctly diagnosed.

Steinberg, S., Moser, A., Raymond, G. X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy. Gene Reviews. Online database. Updated April 2015.

Kennedy Krieger Adrenoleukodystrophy Fact Sheet.

Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison's disease.

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