Niemann Pick Disease Type C
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Niemann Pick Disease Type C 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.
Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a rare progressive genetic disorder characterized by an inability of the body to transport cholesterol and other fatty substances (lipids) inside of cells. This leads to the abnormal accumulation of these substances within various tissues of the body, including brain tissue. The accumulation of these substances damages the affected areas. NPC is highly variable and the age of onset and specific symptoms can vary from one person to another, sometimes even among members of the same family. NPC can range from a fatal disorder within the first few months after birth (neonatal period) to a late onset, chronic progressive disorder that remains undiagnosed well into adulthood. Most cases are detected during childhood and progress to cause life-threatening complications by the second or third decade of life. NPC is caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene (NPC type 1C) or the NPC2 gene (NPC type 2C) and is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner.
NPC belongs to a larger group of more than 50 disorders known as lysosomal storage disorders. Lysosomes are membrane-bound compartments within cells. They contain enzymes that break down large molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats into their building blocks. Abnormal functioning of a transport protein leads to the accumulation of cholesterol and other fatty substances in various tissues of the body, including brain tissue. NPC used to be grouped together with two other disorders, named Niemann-Pick disease type A and Niemann-Pick disease type B. However, researchers have determined that the underlying defect in types A and B involves mutations in the SMPD1 gene and deficiency of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase, which does not occur in NPC. Niemann-Pick disease types A and B are now considered a distinct disorder called acid sphingomyelinase deficiency. NORD has a separate report in the Rare Disease Database on this disorder.
Niemann-Pick disease type D is an obsolete term for a condition in a group of individuals in Nova Scotia, Canada who have NPC due to a specific founder mutation of the NPC1 gene. This form is clinically indistinguishable from NPC. Additional terms have been used in the past to describe NPC including DAF syndrome, juvenile dystonic lipidosis, lipid histiocytosis, and sea blue histiocyte disease. These terms are now considered obsolete.
CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
Vaincre Les Maladies Lysosomales
2 Ter Avenue
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
4729 E Sunrise Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85718-4535
Niemann-Pick Disease Group (UK)
Suite 2, Vermont House
Tyne and Wear, NE37 2SQ
GOLD, Global Organisation For Lysosomal Diseases
3 Albion Rd
Chalfont St Giles
Buckinghamshire, HP8 4EW
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
Hide & Seek Foundation for Lysosomal Disease Research
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway Suite 466
Long Beach, CA 90803
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Last Updated: 10/15/2014
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