Levoscoliosis is a common genetic disorder which affects mainly children between the ages of 1 year and 5 years. It’s known that it is caused by mutations in two genes: LCT1 (Lysosomal storage carrier type one) and HET (human embryonic thymoma). These mutations are present at birth, but they do not cause any symptoms until puberty or later.
The disease is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal proteins in various organs, including the brain, heart, liver and spleen. Some of these proteins accumulate abnormally in certain parts of the body such as the lungs, kidneys and pancreas. Other types accumulate abnormally in other areas like the skin and bones.
There are different degrees of severity among individuals affected by this condition. The most severe cases result in death within a few months after diagnosis.
In addition to the above mentioned abnormalities, there are other effects of levoscoliosis. For example, some individuals develop neurological disorders. Others have problems with their vision or hearing.
Still others suffer from learning disabilities and mental retardation. There are even rare cases where people experience seizures due to the increased production of neurotransmitters in the brain resulting in abnormal electrical activity in specific areas of the brain.
There is no cure for levoscoliosis. However, in most cases, the symptoms are mild enough that patients can enjoy a relatively normal life. In more severe cases, medication can be prescribed to alleviate the condition.
The first step in treating this condition is to identify all of the organs that are affected by the disease. This is extremely important because not all symptoms and complications are obvious at first glance and early detection is vital to successful treatment. There are various tests that can be performed to determine the extent and progression of the disease.
For example, a patient might be sent to a neurologist if there is suspicion of neurological problems. An electroencephalogram (EEG) can reveal whether or not there have been changes in the electrical activity in the brain. This test can also be used to monitor such activity over time.
A CT scan or a MRI can be used to detect any damage in the brain tissue itself. Since damage to the brain tissue can sometimes cause learning problems and changes in personality, a patient may be sent to a special educator or a psychologist for evaluation.
If the levoscoliosis is causing complications with any of the major organs, the patient may undergo surgery to remove parts of these organs if they become diseased and non-functional. The same is true with the bones if there is such a significant amount of damage. This is usually done while the patient is still young since bones tend to be more ‘pliant’ and thus, easier to manipulate while the patient is still growing and developing.
In some cases, the patient may undergo a bone marrow transplant in order to correct the abnormal production of cells which cause the disease. This procedure can be extremely dangerous and is only used as a last resort.
In the past, it was thought that levo patients should be quarantined from society due to “potentially dangerous mutations.” Fortunately, this attitude has changed over the years as medical and scientific communities have realized that living with levoscoliosis is no different than living with any other chronic disease. Many people still tend to be apprehensive around those with the condition however this is more due to ignorance and a lack of understanding rather than fear or danger.
Unfortunately, there are still some areas in the country which have not yet adopted such ‘progressive’ views on levo patients.
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