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Definition:

Mucopolysaccharides are long chains of sugar molecules that are found throughout the body, often in mucus and in fluid around the joints. They are more commonly called glycosaminoglycans.



Alternative Names:

Glycosaminoglycans; GAG



Information:

When the body cannot break down mucopolysaccharides, a condition called mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) occurs. MPS refers to a group of inherited disorders of metabolism. People with MPS do not have any, or enough, of a substance (enzyme ) needed to break down the sugar molecule chains.

Forms of MPS include:

The conditions cause mucopolysaccharides to build up in body tissues. This can damage organs, including the heart. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Abnormal facial features
  • Bone, cartilage, and connective tissue deformities
  • Mental retardation


References:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Mucolipidoses Fact Sheet. Office of Communications and Public Liaison. Bethesda, MD; Publication No. 03-5115. February 13, 2007.




Review Date: 11/25/2007
Reviewed By: Chad Haldeman-Englert, M.D., Division of Human Genetics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
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