Canavan disease

Living with

Is Canavan disease a leukodystrophy?

Canavan disease is classified as a leukodystrophy. Leukodystrophy is a general term for a disorder that affects the growth and health of myelin. Myelin is a covering or "sheath" that coats, protects, and insulates nerve fibers. Collectively, myelin-covered nerve fibers are known as white matter. When myelin breaks down, a process called demyelination, the nerves cannot function well. The brain uses nerves to tells the body what to do. Demyelination means the brain can't communicate to other areas of the body. This results in progressive neurological deterioration. Broad treatment studies or new therapies that target leukodystrophies as a whole could possibly have applications for people with Canavan disease.

SOURCE: Emory University - Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with ThinkGenetic • https://www.thinkgenetic.com/diseases/canavan-disease/living-with/8757 • DATE UPDATED: 2016-05-08

References

Canavan Disease. The United Leukodystrophy Foundation website. http://ulf.org/canavan-disease

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