Canavan Disease - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of Canavan disease?

Symptoms of Canavan disease usually appear in the first 3 to 6 months of life and progress rapidly. Symptoms include lack of motor development, feeding difficulties, abnormal muscle tone (weakness or stiffness), and an abnormally large, poorly controlled head. Paralysis, blindness, or hearing loss may also occur. Children are characteristically quiet and apathetic. Although Canavan disease may occur in any ethnic group, it is more frequent among Ashkenazi Jews from eastern Poland, Lithuania, and western Russia, and among Saudi Arabians. Canavan disease can be identified by a simple prenatal blood test that screens for the missing enzyme or for mutations in the gene that controls aspartoacylase. Both parents must be carriers of the defective gene in order to have an affected child. When both parents are found to carry the Canavan gene mutation, there is a one in four (25 percent) chance with each pregnancy that the child will be affected with Canavan disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Job, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I didn't know that I was having the disease, but for a long time I have been having smelly sweat, mild headache, itchy chills after shower and diarrhea just after having tea.

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