Other Names for this Disease
- Canavan-van Bogaert-Bertrand disease
- Spongy degeneration of the central nervous system
- Von Bogaert-Bertrand disease
- Aspartoacylase deficiency
- ASPA deficiency
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 This disease is one of a group of genetic disorders called leukodystrophies. Leukodystrophies disrupt the growth or maintenance of the myelin sheath, which is the fatty covering that insulates nerve fibers. Canavan disease is caused by mutations in the ASPA gene and is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. While it occurs in people of all ethnic backgrounds, it is most common in people of Ashkenazi (eastern and central European) Jewish heritage, and among Saudi Arabians.Canavan disease is an inherited disorder that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain.
Last updated: 5/14/2015
- Canavan disease. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). April 2015; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/canavan-disease. Accessed 5/14/2015.
- NINDS Canavan Disease Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). June 13, 2013; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/canavan/canavan.htm. Accessed 5/14/2015.
- Haldeman- Englert C. Canavan disease. MedlinePlus. October 29, 2013; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001586.htm. Accessed 5/14/2015.
- Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Canavan disease. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- 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 Canavan disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.