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Canavan disease

Medline NLM definition: A rare neurodegenerative condition of infancy or childhood characterized by white matter vacuolization and demeylination that gives rise to a spongy appearance. Aspartoacylase deficiency leads to an accumulation of N-acetylaspartate in astrocytes. Inheritance may be autosomal recessive or the illness may occur sporadically. This illness occurs more frequently in individuals of Ashkenazic Jewish descent. The neonatal form features the onset of hypotonia and lethargy at birth, rapidly progressing to coma and death. The infantile form features developmental delay, DYSKINESIAS, hypotonia, spasticity, blindness, and megalencephaly. The juvenile form is characterized by ATAXIA; OPTIC ATROPHY; and DEMENTIA. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p944; Am J Med Genet 1988 Feb;29(2):463-71)

PubMed Medline search on Canavan Disease

Canavan Disease: factsheet from NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (US site)

Canavan Disease: information from NORD, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (US site)

Support Groups

Metabolic Support UK
Metabolic Support UK (formerly known as Climb - Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases) are the leading patient organisation for Inherited Metabolic Disorders supporting thousands of patients worldwide.

Brain and Spine Foundation
Information on living with a neurological condition and on diagnosis. There are publications and resources. The useful glossary of neurological conditions (under 'Information and support') includes links to some other organisations as well as to Brain and Spine Foundation information.

Healthtalk: nerves and brain
Personal experiences of people living with various neurological conditions.

Neurological Alliance
Collective voice for 80 organisations, including stroke and brain injury. Organisations are listed at https://www.neural.org.uk/our-members/, a good place to start if looking for information on those conditions. Site also includes information about living with a neurological condition, a glossary, and information about onset and diagnosis as well as a small set of real life stories.

NHS Inform: brain, nerves and spinal cord 
NHS inform is Scotland's national health information service, with the aim of providing the people in Scotland with accurate and relevant information to help them make informed decisions about their own health and the health of the people they care for.


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