Niemann Pick Disease
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Niemann Pick Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
- lipid histiocytosis
- lipidosis, sphingomyelin
- sphingomyelinase deficiency
- juvenile dystonic lipidosis
- DAF syndrome
- Nieman Pick disease Type A (acute neuronopathic form)
- Nieman Pick disease Type B
- Nieman Pick disease Type C (chronic neuronopathic form)
- Nieman Pick disease Type D (Nova Scotia variant)
- Nieman Pick disease Type E
- Nieman Pick disease Type F (sea-blue histiocyte disease)
Niemann-Pick disease (NPD) is a group of rare inherited disorders of fat metabolism. At least five types of Niemann-Pick disease have been identified (NPD types A, B, C, D, and E). Symptoms of types A and B occur as a result of a deficiency of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), which is needed to break down sphingomyelin, a fatty substance found mostly in the brain and nervous system. This deficiency results in abnormal accumulation of excessive amounts of sphingomyelin in many organs of the body such as the liver, spleen, and brain. Symptoms of type C occur because of impaired trafficking of large molecules within cells, which results in the accumulation of excessive amounts of cholesterol and other lipids (glycosphingolipids) tissues throughout the body. The metabolic defect in type C can lead to a secondary reduction in ASM activity in some cells.
The division of Niemann Pick disease into groups A, B, C and D was proposed by Allan Crocker in 1961 after he and Sidney Farber had expanded the category of Niemann-Pick disease by applying the diagnosis to all patients with "foam cells" and lipid storage in the tissues. This had led to the inclusion of older and less severely affected people than those originally described by Niemann and Pick.
Symptoms common to all types of Niemann-Pick disease include yellow discoloration of the skin, eyes, and/or mucous membranes (jaundice), progressive loss of motor skills, feeding difficulties, learning disabilities, and an abnormally enlarged liver and/or spleen (hepatosplenomegaly). The different types of Niemann-Pick disease are inherited as autosomal recessive traits.
Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases (CLIMB)
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, Intl CW2 6BG
Tel: 0845 241 2174
Tel: 800 652 3181
National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
2001 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02146-4227
National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, Inc.
401 Madison Avenue
PO Box 49
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0049
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation
3530 E. Campo Abierto
Tucson, AZ 85718-3327
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Instituto de Errores Innatos del Metabolismo
Carrera 7 No 40 - 62
Tel: (571) 3208320
Hide & Seek Foundation for Lysosomal Disease Research
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway Suite 466
Long Beach, CA 90803
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The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
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Last Updated: 5/5/2006
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