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Niemann Pick Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
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.

Synonyms

  • lipid histiocytosis
  • lipidosis, sphingomyelin
  • NPD
  • sphingomyelinase deficiency
  • juvenile dystonic lipidosis
  • DAF syndrome

Disorder Subdivisions

  • 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)

General Discussion

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.

Resources

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 4408452412173
Fax: 4408452412174
Email: enquiries@climb.org.uk
Internet: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk

National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, Inc.
2001 Beacon Street
204
Brookline, MA 02146-4227
USA
Tel: (617)277-4463
Fax: (617)277-0134
Tel: (800)906-8723
Email: info@ntsad.org
Internet: http://www.NTSAD.org

National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, Inc.
401 Madison Avenue
Suite B
PO Box 49
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538-0049
Tel: (920)563-0930
Fax: (920)563-0931
Tel: (877)287-3672
Email: nnpdf@nnpdf.com
Internet: http://www.nnpdf.org

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981
Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation
3530 E. Campo Abierto
Suite 105
Tucson, AZ 85718-3327
USA
Tel: (520)577-5106
Fax: (520)577-5212
Email: victory@parseghian.org
Internet: http://www.parseghian.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Instituto de Errores Innatos del Metabolismo
Carrera 7 No 40 - 62
Bogota,
Colombia
Tel: 5713208320
Email: abarrera@javeriana.edu.co
Internet: http://www.javeriana.edu.co/ieim/programas_ieim.htm

Hide & Seek Foundation for Lysosomal Disease Research
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway Suite 466
Long Beach, CA 90803
Tel: (877)621-1122
Fax: (866)215-8850
Email: info@hideandseek.org
Internet: http://www.hideandseek.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

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.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  5/5/2006
Copyright  1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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