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Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA
Other Names for this Disease
- Heparan sulfate sulfatase deficiency
- MPS 3A
- MPS IIIA
- Mucopoly-saccharidosis type 3A
- Sanfilippo syndrome A
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Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA) is an genetic disorder that makes the body unable to break down large sugar molecules called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs, formerly called mucopolysaccharides). MPS IIIA is the most severe of the MPS III disorders and children with this condition have the shortest survival rate among those with the MPS III disorders. Individuals with this condition are unable to break down a GAG called heparan sulfate. Affected individuals can have severe neurological symptoms, including progressive dementia, aggressive behavior, hyperactivity, seizures, deafness, loss of vision, and an inability to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. MPS IIIA is caused by the missing or altered enzyme heparan N-sulfatase. MPS IIIA is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. There is no specific treatment for this condition.
Last updated: 4/14/2010
- Mucopolysaccharidoses Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Website. February 16, 2010; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/mucopolysaccharidoses/detail_mucopolysaccharidoses.htm. Accessed 4/14/2010.
- Chambers D. Sanfilippo syndrome. Medline Plus Web site. May 11, 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001210.htm. Accessed 4/14/2010.
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- The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database contains genetics resources that discuss Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA. Click on the link to go to OMIM and review these resources.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
- The Social Security Administration has included this condition in their Compassionate Allowances Initiative. This initiative speeds up the processing of disability claims for applicants with certain medical conditions that cause severe disability. More information about Compassionate Allowances and applying for Social Security disability is available online.