Taking a Look at Krabbe Disease

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Imagine your child dying a few months after they are born because of the genes you passed down to them. This is possible with many genetic diseases; one such disease can be Krabbe disease. Krabbe disease changes many aspects of a diagnosed person’s life because of the troubling and debilitating side effects. Children with Krabbe disease might not be able to complete daily activities. This can affect not only the child but also the people around them. Krabbe disease is a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system (Stanley 2005). Krabbe disease affects the breakdown of myelin coating and destroys brain cells (Stanley 2005). This can hurt the process of brain function and how the person can deal with every day activities. Myelin is a coating that coats the nerve and lets the messages get sent faster, it also protects the nerves and the nervous system (Stanley 2005). It is absolutely important and needed for the nerve cells to communicate and body functions to all work properly (Stanley 2005). As nerves get bigger, myelin is always being built, broken down, recycled, and rebuilt (Stanley 2005). To break down enzymes, metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you need myelin (Stanley 2005). Without myelin, many problems can occur. Krabbe disease affects this production of myelin due to a missing enzyme. People with Krabbe disease do not have the enzyme, galactosylceramidase, or GALC (Stanley 2005). GALC is located in chromosome fourteen (Stanley 2005).

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