Pannuzzo, G, Graziano, ACE, Avola, R, Drago, F, Cardile, V. Screening for Krabbe disease: The first 2 years’ experience.Acta Neurol Scand . 2019; 00: 1– 7. Click here to view publication
Another name for Krabbe disease, a rare and usually fatal disorder of the nervous system. or Krabbe disease (KD) is a lysosomal storage disorder characterized by a deficiency in galactosylceramidase (GALC) which breaks down (hydrolyses) A galactolipid that is an important component of the normal turnover of myelin in nerve fibers. When there is an enzyme deficiency, excess galactosylceramide and psychosine (both galactolipids) store ... and galactosylsphingosine (Due to the enzyme deficiency in Krabbe disease, psychosine accumulates in the nervous system of affected individuals. Psychosine, a galactolipid, is a cytotoxic type of lipid, that has destructive pr...). The accumulation of Due to the enzyme deficiency in Krabbe disease, psychosine accumulates in the nervous system of affected individuals. Psychosine, a galactolipid, is a cytotoxic type of lipid, that has destructive pr... results in the death of myelin-forming cells. KD is The way genes are passed down from one generation to the next. There are many different types of inheritance patterns. Krabbe disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance.... in an A pattern of inheritance whereby both parents must be a carrier for the disease in order to have a child with the disorder. Even when both parents are carriers for the disorder, there is a 1 in 4 cha... pattern. Carriers of autosomal recessive disorders are called heterozygotes and typically show no symptoms of The leukodystrophies comprise a group of progressive, genetic disorders mainly affecting the central nervous system (CNS). Most leukodystophies result from a disruption of the growth of the myelin sh...; however, they are at an increased risk of having a child with KD. We all have 2 copies of each gene. Carriers “carry” one good copy of the gene (non-affected copy) and one disease-causing gene. When two (2) carriers have children together, with each pregnancy, there is a 1 in 4 (25%) chance the child will not be affected by the disorder, a 1 in 2 (50%) chance the child will also be a carrier, and a 1 in 4 (25%) chance the child will be affected with KD. This is a bit easier to show by using what we call a Punnett Square. The Aa on the top represents the father and the Aa on the left of the square represents the mother. The capital A represents the good gene or unaffected gene and the lower- case a represents the disease-causing gene. In the lower-right hand square, you can see by combining the lower-case a (affected gene) of the father and the lower-case a, the affected gene of the mother, there is a 1 in 4 chance of the child being affected with Krabbe disease. So, now that we understand the inheritance pattern of KD, let’s learn about the goals and findings of this research study.
- This study looked to identify the heterozygous carriers of Krabbe disease in Sicily (Italy), to prevent the birth of unborn babies affected by Krabbe disease, and eventually in the presence of positive results for KD, direct them towards a treatment before symptoms occur when it is too late to receive a useful therapy.
- Due to the high incidence of the late infantile form in Sicily, the authors think that it could be very significant to realize a statistic and systematic study to know the real incidence of KD in this region and to identify the heterozygous carriers of the disease.
- There are notable practical benefit to families that have had a child with Krabbe disease and researchers who deal with this rare pathology.
- The results of this study will be useful to know the real incidence of Krabbe disease in a large Italian territory where KD is particularly present and to start a Krabbe’s register, which at present does not exist.
Results & Key Points
- The study began with the screening of relatives of patients, whose gene variant (often called mutation) was known.
- It’s important to remember that screening tests are not considered diagnostic. The primary purpose of screening tests is to detect potential health disorders in people who do not have any symptoms.
- The choice and accuracy of the testing method provided a fast, easy and painless test and defined the target population to be screened.
- In the last 2 years, the analysis of almost 100 individuals in the Italian region found 40 heterozygous carriers of Krabbe disease. One of the women examined was pregnant.
- Carrier detection by molecular genetic testing is possible if the disease-causing variants have been identified in the family.
- Prenatal diagnosis can be performed either by measurement of GALC A protein needed by the body to break down certain substances by causing a biochemical reaction within the cells. In Krabbe disease, galactocerebrosidase is the deficient enzyme. Words that end in ... activity or by molecular genetic testing if both pathogenic The body is made of ~20,500 genes, each of which has a specific function within the body. Our genes are what makes each one of us unique- from our green eyes to our curly hair. (alleles) in an affected family member are known.