Adrenoleukodystrophy is a genetic disease that is passed on from mother to son. ALD is an X-linked disorder. That means it affects only males and is transmitted by a female carrier. This disorder is called X-linked since the genetic abnormality involves the X-chromosome. Women have two X-chromosomes while men only have one. In women, the affected X-chromosome, the one with the gene for ALD does not become active because of the presence of a normal copy of the gene on the other X-chromosome. Men have one X-chromosome and one Y-chromosome. In men who have an X- chromosome for X-ALD, there is no other X- chromosome for protection.
ALD affects the nervous system in the brain. The disease strips away the coating or the covering of the nerves this covering is called myelin. What causes this to happen is the accumulation of long chain fatty acids that accumulate the brain and the adrenal glands. The body normally produces these fatty acids but they are broken down by proteins in the peroxisome in cells but in people with ALD this does not happen. The most common sing that a person has ALD is personality and behavioral changes. Followed by learning disabilities, vision problems, attention deficit disorder, short and long-term memory loss, and loss of coordination or gait.
There is not a cure for ALD but there is a medicine that can slow down the process. The most famous cure is called Lorenzo oil this oil was developed by Augusto and michaela Odone, Lorenzo’s parents. When Lorenzo was first diagnosed with ALD they were told there was not a whole lot that could be done because there was not allot of information about the disease because it was relatively new. The doctors tried radiation therapy that and other experimental treatments with no luck. In the end the only thing that was done for the Lorenzo was he was put on a diet that was very strict and lacked all fatty acids that contributed to the ALD. While the Adone’s watched his condition get... [continues]
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