Krabbe (KRAH-buh) disease is an inherited disorder that destroys the protective coating (myelin) of nerve cells in the brain and throughout the nervous system.
In most cases, signs and symptoms of Krabbe disease develop in babies before 6 months of age, and the disease usually results in death by age 2. When it develops in older children and adults, the course of the disease can vary greatly.
There's no cure for Krabbe disease, and treatment focuses on supportive care. However, stem cell transplants have shown some success in infants who are treated before the onset of symptoms and in some older children and adults.
Krabbe disease affects about 1 in 100,000 people in the United States. It is also known as globoid cell leukodystrophy.