Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in treating children who have brain and nervous system conditions (pediatric neurologists), doctors trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologists), and others have experience diagnosing and treating people who have adrenoleukodystrophy and other neurological conditions.
  • Team approach. Mayo Clinic pediatric neurologists work with doctors trained in adrenal hormone function (endocrinologists) and others to develop the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
  • Diagnostic and genetic testing. Mayo Clinic doctors conduct genetic testing and research for people who have adrenoleukodystrophy and their families. The Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is one of the few facilities in the United States that performs blood tests to confirm the diagnosis of adrenoleukodystrophy.
  • Treatment expertise. Mayo Clinic doctors have expertise in providing comprehensive care for children and adults who have adrenoleukodystrophy. The Mayo Clinic Peroxisomal Disorders Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, provides integrated care, including stem cell transplantation, for people who have all forms of ALD.

Types

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a type of genetic condition (leukodystrophy) that damages the membrane surrounding nerve cells in your brain (myelin sheath). X-linked ALD is caused by a genetic defect on the X chromosome.

The condition may occur as childhood-onset ALD or as an adult-onset form of the condition (adrenomyeloneuropathy). The condition affects males more severely females, who carry the disease.

  • Childhood-onset ALD is a form of X-linked ALD that usually occurs between ages 4 and 10. The white matter of the brain is progressively damaged (leukodystrophy) and symptoms worsen over time. If not diagnosed early, childhood-onset ALD may lead to death within five to 10 years.
  • The adult-onset form (adrenomyeloneuropathy) is a less severe and slowly progressive form of ALD and causes symptoms such as a stiff gait and bladder and bowel dysfunction.
  • Hormone-producing glands (adrenal glands) often fail to produce enough steroids (adrenal insufficiency) in people who have ALD.

    In Addison's disease, a type of X-linked ALD, people have severe adrenal insufficiency. Neurological symptoms may or may not develop in people who have Addison's disease. Most men with neurological symptoms do develop adrenal insufficiency and require monitoring by an endocrinologist.

  • Women who carry the condition may develop a mild form of adrenomyeloneuropathy.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks #1 for neurology and neurosurgery in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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