Neurological manifestations in Fabry's disease

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Fabry's disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder caused by a defect in the gene that encodes the lysosomal enzyme α-galactosidase A. Symptoms arise because of accumulation of globotriaosylceramide in multiple organs, resulting in severely reduced quality of life and premature death. Neurological symptoms, such as burning sensations (occasionally accompanied by acroparesthesia) and stroke, are among the first to appear, and occur in both male and female patients. A delay in establishing the diagnosis of Fabry's disease can cause unnecessary problems, especially now that enzyme replacement treatment is available to prevent irreversible organ damage. Females with Fabry's disease who present with pain have often been ignored and misdiagnosed because of the disorder's X-linked inheritance. This Review will stress the importance of recognizing neurological symptoms for the diagnosis of Fabry's disease. The possible pathophysiological background will also be discussed.

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