Disease at a Glance

Familial dysautonomia (FD) affects nerve cells in the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions like breathing and digestion. The symptoms of FD are present at birth and include difficulty swallowing, and poor control of blood pressure, body temperature and breathing. Other symptoms may include the inability to make tears or feel pain, vomiting episodes, frequent pneumonia, and difficulty walking. Over time, the symptoms of FD tend to get worse and are often life-threatening. FD is caused by genetic variations in the ELP1 gene, and is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Diagnosis is based on the symptoms, clinical exam, and the results of genetic testing.
Estimated Number of People with this Disease
In the U.S., this disease is estimated to be fewer than


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.
Before Birth
Newborn Selected
Birth-4 weeks
Infant Selected
1-23 months
Child Selected
2-11 years
12-18 years
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).


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:

34 Symptoms

Tile View
List View
Tile View
List View


Genetic Disease

Familial dysautonomia is a genetic disease, which means that it is caused by one or more genes not working correctly.

Disease causing variants in the following gene(s) are known to cause this disease: IKBKAP



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):


Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021