Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)

Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a genetic disease that causes problems in a child’s nervous system and adrenal glands. 


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What is Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)?

Adrenoleukodystrophy is a rare, genetic disorder in which the body cannot break down fatty acids in the brain. The resulting buildup of fatty acids leads to a breakdown of the myelin sheath – the insulation covering that protects the nerve fibers in the brain. This makes it impossible for nerves in the body to communicate with the brain. ALD also affects the adrenal gland, which produces important hormones that control metabolism, blood pressure and the body’s responses to stress. 

What are the different types of Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)?

There are three main types of adrenoleukodystrophy:

Addison’s disease

A disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones.


A condition that causes spinal cord dysfunction, and typically affects young adult males. 

Cerebral ALD

A severe form of adrenoleukodystrophy that damages the myelin sheath and prohibits the brain from working properly. This form only affects boys, with symptoms usually starting between ages 2 and 10.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)?

The symptoms of adrenoleukodystrophy depend on the type your child develops. 

Symptoms of Addison’s disease include:

Symptoms of adrenomyelopathy include:

Symptoms of cerebral ALD include:

What are the causes of Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)?

Adrenoleukodystrophy is caused by a gene mutation on the X chromosome, which is passed on from a mother to her child. The condition is more common in males.

How is Pediatric Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) treated?