Neurologic

This is a Brain and Spinal Cord condition.

Alexander Disease

What is Alexander Disease?

This causes progressive neurologic disease in puppies. Astrocytes, named for their characteristic star-like shape, are supportive cells of the central nervous system. Astrocytes surround neurons, the functional unit of the central nervous system, nourishing, protecting, and repairing them from stress or injury, as well as enhancing their function. In Alexander disease, astrocyte function is compromised. As such, neuron health and function deteriorates, leading to weak or nearly paralyzed puppies. They characteristically display spastic front limbs (known as "swimming puppy syndrome"). Alexander disease is currently untreatable, with owners typically opting to euthanize weeks to months after symptoms arise.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Puppies are weak to nearly paralyzed. They characteristically display spastic front limbs (known as "swimming puppy syndrome").

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs develop in puppies.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic testing, clinical signs, laboratory tests, and advanced imaging may all be used to diagnose this disorder.

How is this condition treated?

Alexander disease is currently untreatable, with owners typically opting to euthanize weeks to months after symptoms arise.

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