Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) and related diseases are genetic lysosomal storage diseases (LSD) caused by the body’s inability to produce specific enzymes. Normally, the body uses enzymes to break down and recycle materials in cells. In individuals with MPS and related diseases, the missing or insufficient enzyme prevents the proper recycling process, resulting in the storage of materials in virtually every cell of the body. As a result, cells do not perform properly and may cause progressive damage throughout the body, including the heart, bones, joints, respiratory system and central nervous system.
HOW IS MUCOPOLYSACCHARIDOSIS DIAGNOSED?
A diagnosis of a mucopolysaccharidosis disorder is made based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, identification of characteristic findings (e.g., coarse facial features, skeletal malformations, hepatosplenomegaly), and a variety of specialized tests including urine analysis to detect excessive levels of mucopolysaccharides. Tests known as enzyme assays may be performed to detect deficient levels of lysosomal enzymes in cells of the body.
HOW IS MUCOPOLYSACCHARIDOSIS TREATED?
The US FDA approved galsulfase (Naglazyme) drug is used for treatment. But there are different medications for different types of MPS.
DID YOU KNOW?
Individuals with the severe form begin to lose basic functional skills (developmentally regress) between the ages of 6 and 8. The life expectancy of these individuals is 10 to 20 years. Individuals with mild MPS II also have a shortened lifespan, but they typically live into adulthood and their intelligence is not affected. Heart disease and airway obstruction are major causes of death in people with both types of MPS II.