FD is a genetic disorder that affects the autonomic and sensory nervous systems. Though FD affects people across the world, it occurs almost exclusively in children with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. FD is the one of the rarest of diseases, with only 350 people currently living with FD worldwide.
FD is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, when both otherwise healthy parents pass on their copy of a mutated IKAP gene to their unborn child.
Infants are born unable to sense information coming from inside their own bodies. All the normal bodily functions we take for granted are gone awry in people with FD.
Perhaps the most striking symptoms of FD are reduced sensitivity to pain and temperature, and the inability to produce tears, which is the inspiration for the teardrop in the Familial Dysautonomia Foundation’s logo.
Living with FD is a daily challenge filled with unimaginable obstacles for those who are affected as well as their families.
The information provided in the Dysautonomia Foundation web site is intended to educate the reader about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatments. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, or your child, or someone you know, suffer from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision.
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The FD Foundation does not offer medical advice. We always recommend that you contact the Dysautonomia Center (link here) or your personal physician.