Krabbe disease (KRAH-buh disease) is an inherited, often fatal disorder affecting the central nervous system. Krabbe disease affects about 1 in every 100,000 people in the United States.

The disease affects muscle tone and movement, and may cause vision and hearing loss, among other devastating effects. In most cases, Krabbe disease develops in babies before 6 months of age, although it can occur in older children and in adults.

There's no cure for Krabbe disease and treatment mainly involves approaches designed to ease symptoms. However, early studies using stem cell transplants to treat Krabbe disease before symptoms begin have had some success.

Jun. 11, 2011