Canavan Disease

By: Ziah Earls

What is Canavans Disease?

Canavans disease is a disease that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain. The signs and symptoms of this disease usually begin early on in life, but the course of the condition can vary. By the age of 5 months up to 3 years infants with the disease begin to have problems in development and a delay in motor skills such as being able to turn over, control head movement and sit without needing support. So this disease eventually affects the whole body.

What causes the disease?

On the website I found, it stated, " This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. " The link to this website is ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/canavan-disease . So anybody who develops this disease is born with it. The disease is inherited and sex-linked.

About the disorder

There is no effective treatment or cure at this time. This disease is diagnosed by testing the amniotic fluid, testing lack of enzyme aspartoacylace in skin cells or by genetic testing of the gene. Genetic counseling is an option.

How common is it?

On the same article from above, it stated that, " While this condition occurs in people of all ethnic backgrounds, it is most common in people of Ashkenazi (eastern and central European) Jewish heritage. Studies suggest that this disorder affects 1 in 6,400 to 13,500 people in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. The incidence in other populations is unknown. "

New Info?

I didn't even know this disease existed until doing a project about it so I learned a lot from doing this project and conducting research on canavans disease.