Disease at a Glance

Summary
Canavan disease is a progressive, fatal, genetic disorder affecting the central nervous system, muscles, and eyes. Early symptoms in infancy may include increased head size, weakness, low muscle tone and loss of head control. Symptoms progress to seizures, blindness, inability to move voluntarily and difficulty eating solids or swallowing liquids. This condition is caused by changes in the ASPA gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Canavan disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, laboratory testing, and genetic testing.
Estimated Number of People with this Disease
In the U.S., this disease is estimated to be fewer than

50,000

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
The most common ages for symptoms of a disease to begin is called age of onset. Age of onset can vary for different diseases and may be used by a doctor to determine the diagnosis. For some diseases, symptoms may begin in a single age range or several age ranges. For other diseases, symptoms may begin any time during a person's life.
Prenatal
Before Birth
Newborn Selected
Birth-4 weeks
Infant Selected
1-23 months
Child Selected
2-11 years
Adolescent
12-18 years
Adult
19-65 years
Older Adult
65+ years
The common ages for symptoms to begin in this disease are shown above by the colored icon(s).

Symptoms

These symptoms may be different from person to person. Some people may have more symptoms than others and symptoms can range from mild to severe. This list does not include every symptom.
This disease might cause these symptoms:
Nervous System

17 Symptoms

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Nervous System

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Common symptoms of problems in the nervous system include trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. Problems with memory, senses, or mood may also occur. Nervous system diseases are usually diagnosed and treated by neurologists.

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Inheritance

All individuals inherit two copies of most genes. The number of copies of a gene that need to have a disease-causing variant affects the way a disease is inherited. This disease is inherited in the following pattern(s):

Questions:

Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021