Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy
Type of disease: Rare conditions
CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy) is an inherited disease of the blood vessels that occurs when the thickening of blood vessel walls blocks the flow of blood to the brain. The disease primarily affects the small blood vessels in the white matter of the brain. CADASIL is characterized by migraine headaches and multiple strokes, which progresses to dementia. Other symptoms include white matter lesions throughout the brain, cognitive deterioration, seizures, vision problems, and psychiatric problems such as severe depression and changes in behavior and personality. Individuals may also be at higher risk of heart attack. Symptoms and disease onset vary widely, with signs typically appearing in the mid-30s. Some individuals may not show signs of the disease until later in life. CADASIL is caused by a change (or mutation) in a gene called NOTCH3 and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.