Spongy degeneration of the brain, Canavan disease

biochemical and molecular findings.

Reuben Matalon, K. Michals-Matalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Canavan disease is a severe progressive leukodystrophy characterized by swelling and spongy degeneration of the white matter of the brain. It is an autosomal recessive disease found more frequently among Ashkenazi Jews. The clinical features are those of severe mental retardation with inability to gain developmental milestones. Hypotonia, head lag and macrocephaly are characteristic of Canavan disease and become apparent after 5-6 months of age. Massive excretion in the urine of N-acetylaspartic acid is the biochemical marker for Canavan disease, which is caused by deficiency of the enzyme aspartoacylase. This discovery allowed for accurate diagnosis of Canavan disease, while prior to that, a brain biopsy was needed. The gene for aspartoacylase has been cloned and two mutations predominate among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with Canavan disease and account for more than 98% of the Ashkenazi Jewish patients. The mutations among other ethnic groups are more diverse. The carrier frequency for the two common mutations among Ashkenazi Jews was found to be surprisingly high, 1:37. Screening for carriers is now common practice for this population. A knock-out mouse for Canavan disease is being genetically engineered in our laboratory. The mouse model will allow for development of strategies for gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library
Volume5
StatePublished - 2000

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Canavan Disease
Brain Diseases
Brain
Jews
Mutation
Megalencephaly
Gene therapy
Muscle Hypotonia
Biopsy
Ethnic Groups
Knockout Mice
Intellectual Disability
Genetic Therapy
Swelling
Screening
Genes
Biomarkers
Head
Urine

Cite this

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title = "Spongy degeneration of the brain, Canavan disease: biochemical and molecular findings.",
abstract = "Canavan disease is a severe progressive leukodystrophy characterized by swelling and spongy degeneration of the white matter of the brain. It is an autosomal recessive disease found more frequently among Ashkenazi Jews. The clinical features are those of severe mental retardation with inability to gain developmental milestones. Hypotonia, head lag and macrocephaly are characteristic of Canavan disease and become apparent after 5-6 months of age. Massive excretion in the urine of N-acetylaspartic acid is the biochemical marker for Canavan disease, which is caused by deficiency of the enzyme aspartoacylase. This discovery allowed for accurate diagnosis of Canavan disease, while prior to that, a brain biopsy was needed. The gene for aspartoacylase has been cloned and two mutations predominate among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with Canavan disease and account for more than 98{\%} of the Ashkenazi Jewish patients. The mutations among other ethnic groups are more diverse. The carrier frequency for the two common mutations among Ashkenazi Jews was found to be surprisingly high, 1:37. Screening for carriers is now common practice for this population. A knock-out mouse for Canavan disease is being genetically engineered in our laboratory. The mouse model will allow for development of strategies for gene therapy.",
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TY - JOUR

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T2 - biochemical and molecular findings.

AU - Matalon, Reuben

AU - Michals-Matalon, K.

PY - 2000

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N2 - Canavan disease is a severe progressive leukodystrophy characterized by swelling and spongy degeneration of the white matter of the brain. It is an autosomal recessive disease found more frequently among Ashkenazi Jews. The clinical features are those of severe mental retardation with inability to gain developmental milestones. Hypotonia, head lag and macrocephaly are characteristic of Canavan disease and become apparent after 5-6 months of age. Massive excretion in the urine of N-acetylaspartic acid is the biochemical marker for Canavan disease, which is caused by deficiency of the enzyme aspartoacylase. This discovery allowed for accurate diagnosis of Canavan disease, while prior to that, a brain biopsy was needed. The gene for aspartoacylase has been cloned and two mutations predominate among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with Canavan disease and account for more than 98% of the Ashkenazi Jewish patients. The mutations among other ethnic groups are more diverse. The carrier frequency for the two common mutations among Ashkenazi Jews was found to be surprisingly high, 1:37. Screening for carriers is now common practice for this population. A knock-out mouse for Canavan disease is being genetically engineered in our laboratory. The mouse model will allow for development of strategies for gene therapy.

AB - Canavan disease is a severe progressive leukodystrophy characterized by swelling and spongy degeneration of the white matter of the brain. It is an autosomal recessive disease found more frequently among Ashkenazi Jews. The clinical features are those of severe mental retardation with inability to gain developmental milestones. Hypotonia, head lag and macrocephaly are characteristic of Canavan disease and become apparent after 5-6 months of age. Massive excretion in the urine of N-acetylaspartic acid is the biochemical marker for Canavan disease, which is caused by deficiency of the enzyme aspartoacylase. This discovery allowed for accurate diagnosis of Canavan disease, while prior to that, a brain biopsy was needed. The gene for aspartoacylase has been cloned and two mutations predominate among Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with Canavan disease and account for more than 98% of the Ashkenazi Jewish patients. The mutations among other ethnic groups are more diverse. The carrier frequency for the two common mutations among Ashkenazi Jews was found to be surprisingly high, 1:37. Screening for carriers is now common practice for this population. A knock-out mouse for Canavan disease is being genetically engineered in our laboratory. The mouse model will allow for development of strategies for gene therapy.

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