Niemann-Pick disease primarily affects children, although it can occur at any age. Types A, B and C all affect the body's ability to metabolize fat (cholesterol and lipids) within cells. When cholesterol and other lipids accumulate in large amounts within cells, they cause cell dysfunction and ultimately cell death. Niemann-Pick disease can affect the brain, nerves, liver, spleen and bone marrow and, in severe cases, the lungs. Progressive deterioration of the brain, nerves and organs cause the main symptoms. An inherited disease, there is no known cure for Niemann-Pick, but research continues.
Nov. 19, 2012