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The earliest symptoms of childhood cerebral X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) include changes in behavior or learning problems. Over time other problems develop, such as difficulty hearing, seeing, swallowing, walking, and controlling body movements. Children may also develop difficulty speaking and understanding speech.

These symptoms are all caused by damage to the brain and spinal cord. If the damage is not stopped, a boy with the disorder will become unable to control his body or respond to life around him, usually within six months to two years. Untreated cerebral X-linked ALD leads to death within one to 10 years.

Learn how transplant can treat ALD.

MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2013 Sept 16; cited 2013 Sept 16]. Available from: