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JIMD Rep. 2013;10:57-9. doi: 10.1007/8904_2012_203. Epub 2012 Dec 29.

Stem cell transplantation for adult-onset krabbe disease: report of a case.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada,


Krabbe disease is an autosomal recessive demyelinating lysosomal storage disorder caused by a deficiency of galactocerebrosidase. The adult-onset variant is very rare. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is reported to be successful in treating infants with Krabbe disease prior to the onset of symptoms, but there are no reported cases of its use for adult-onset disease. We report the first follow-up data for a patient with adult-onset Krabbe disease who underwent HSCT at age 41, 16 years after the onset of symptoms. HSCT resulted in a sustained normalization of peripheral GALC enzyme activity, halted the progression of symptoms at 24 months post-allograft, and led to improvements in gait and balance. Serial imaging also confirmed that no significant progression of demyelination has occurred. Although long-term follow-up is needed to confirm the effects of HSCT, our 24-month results suggest that HSCT is a viable therapeutic option for symptomatic patients with adult-onset Krabbe disease.

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