Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders

Newborn Screening For Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders

Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders (FAODs) are a group of rare inherited conditions caused by enzymes that do not work properly. A number of enzymes are needed to break down fats in the body (a process called fatty acid oxidation). Problems with any of these enzymes can cause a fatty acid oxidation disorder. People with FAODs cannot properly break down fat either from the food they eat or from fat stored in their bodies. A healthy body uses glucose (sugar) for energy. When the body uses all the glucose it has, it gets energy from fat. A baby with a fatty acid oxidation disorder cannot use fat for energy. This can cause low blood sugar and harmful substances to build up in his/her blood.

FAODs are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and affect both males and females. This means they are passed from parent to child through genes. Genes are parts of your body's cells that store instructions for the way your body grows and works.

The symptoms and treatment vary between different FAODs. They can also vary from person to person with the same FAOD. See the fact sheets for each specific FAOD.