There is no cure for MLD. Treatment for the condition focuses on managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life. Your doctor may use several different treatments to help manage your symptoms:
- medications to help control muscle movements and reduce pain
- therapy to improve speech, muscle movements, and quality of life
- nutritional assistance to cope with swallowing and eating difficulties
In some people, a bone marrow or cord blood transplant may be effective in slowing the progression of the disease. When successful, the healthy cells received in the transplant can make the ARSA that the body was missing. Though this procedure will not reverse damage already done by the disease, it can stop future damage to the nervous system and prevent mental disability for some people. This is most effective as an early intervention in people who show few or no symptoms.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with bone marrow transplant. Risks associated with bone marrow transplant can be severe. The most common risks are graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and rejection of the transplanted cells.
In some people, the newly transplanted cells recognize their cells as invaders and try to attack them. GvHD may cause:
- a fever
- a rash
- liver damage
- lung damage
The treatment for MLD includes drugs that suppress the immune system. The treatment will stop the attack but make you more likely to get an infection.
A bone marrow transplant usually involves suppressing the immune system to prevent rejection of the transplanted cells. This increases your chances of developing an infection. It’s important to treat any infection quickly to prevent it from developing into a more serious condition.