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Leukoencephalopathy with brain stem and spinal cord involvement and lactate elevation (LBSL) is a rare neurological disease characterized by slowly progressive cerebellar ataxia (lack of control of the movements) and spasticity with dorsal column dysfunction (decreased position and vibration sense) in most patients. The disease involves the legs more than the arms. It usually starts in childhood or adolescence, but in some cases not until adulthood. Difficulty speaking develops over time. Other symptoms may include: epilepsy; learning problems; cognitive decline; and reduced consciousness, neurologic deterioration, and fever following minor head trauma. Many affected individuals become wheelchair dependent in their teens or twenties. The earlier the onset the more severe the disease is. The diagnosis is made in persons who had the characteristic abnormalities observed on brain and spinal cord MRI scans and with the genetic test identifiying the DARS2 gene alteration (mutation). There is still no cure and treatment is supportive and includes physical therapy and rehabilitation to improve movement function, and the following as needed: antiepileptic drugs, special education and speech therapy.
Source: GARD Last updated on 05-01-20
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