Andersen disease is characterized by a lack of glycogen branching enzyme activity, which results in an accumulation of abnormal glycogen in body tissues such as the liver and muscle.
The mutation occurs in the GBE1 gene, which is located on chromosome 3p14. As a result, an abnormal glycogen structure known as polyglucosan accumulates.
Andersen disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This mode of inheritance is commonly seen in enzyme deficiencies.
Because the liver and muscle contain the most glycogen, they are the organs most affected by Andersen disease. Hepatosplenomegaly is caused by glycogen accumulation in the liver and spleen.
Failure to thrive, along with hepatosplenomegaly, is the first symptom that appears in Andersen disease patients during their first months of life. It is defined as the patient's inability to grow and gain weight.
The abnormal glycogen in the liver causes cellular injury and organ dysfunction by acting as a foreign body. As a result, patients develop cirrhosis.
Excess insoluble glycogen in the skeletal muscle of Andersen disease patients causes muscular weakness, exercise intolerance, and muscle atrophy.
Severe hypotonia, characterized by very low muscle tone, is another manifestation of Andersen disease.
Excess insoluble glycogen in the heart of Andersen disease patients will lead to cardiomyopathy.
Hypoglycemia does not appear until the condition has progressed. Cirrhosis is commonly associated with it.
Treatment of Andersen disease includes supportive care.
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