VLCAD Information

What is VLCAD

VLCAD stands for “Very Long Chain Acyl Coa Dehydrogenase Deficiency” it is a Fatty Oxidation Disorder, people with VLCAD have problems breaking down certain types fat to convert into energy for the body.

What causes VLCAD

VLCAD occurs when an enzyme called ‘Very Long Chain acyl-coa Dehydrogenase’ is either missing or not working properly, this enzyme’s job is to break down certain fats from the food and body and covert them into energy.

The Types of VLCAD and symptoms:
There are 3 types

  • Early VLCAD- Showing signs from birth to a few months old.
  • Childhood VLCAD- Showing signs late infancy and into early childhood.
  • Adult VLCAD- Showing signs into teenage years through to adulthood.

Signs and symptoms of VLCAD typically appear in the above stages of life as well as from metabolic crises and often experience symptoms such as vomiting, lack of energy (lethargy), low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and muscle problems. Later in childhood and adult hood, people with this condition may experience muscle pain, muscle aches, cramp, and weakness.

Problems related to VLCAD can be triggered by periods of fasting, illness and infection. This disorder is sometimes mistaken for Reye Syndrome, a severe disorder that may develop in children while they appear to be recovering from viral infection such as chicken pox or flu. Most cases of Reye Syndrome is associated with the use of aspirin during these viral infections.

Individuals with VLCAD are also at risk of serious complications such as seizure, breathing difficulties, liver problems, brain damage, coma and sudden death.