What is Batten Disease?

Batten disease, or Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL), is a family of rare diseases caused by autosomal recessive genetic mutations resulting in the body.

These genetic mutations disrupt the cells’ ability to dispose of wastes. Cells are thrown out of balance with the build-up of proteins and lipids (fats). There are 13 known forms of Batten disease and you will often hear them referred to as CLN1-CLN14. It is estimated that 2-4 births per 100,000 in the U.S. are affected by Batten disease, though some researchers in the field suggest these numbers are low.

Every year, hundreds of children and their families cope with the diagnosis of Batten disease with strength, courage and commitment.

Children and adults with this rare neurodegenerative disorder have inherited genetic material from their parents that after some years, begin to impact their daily lives. When it does, families are often in shock when they experience their seemingly normal child changing (sometimes quickly) and without cause. Regardless of where your loved one is in the progression of Batten disease. We want you to know that there are many families around the world just like yours who want to share experiences with you.

Patients with Batten disease suffer progressive neurological impairment because of their damaged cells.

Symptoms like visual impairment and seizures are among the difficulties they will face. Because of widely varying genetic mutations, the disease can look differently in each person. While the symptoms of Batten Disease may vary tremendously for each child or adult, there is some overlap and common paths for diagnosis.

Strides are continually being made in research. Many different efforts are in development with the goal of improving quality of life, and making progress with treatments and cures for various forms of the disease. BDSRA’s work in this area includes funding and facilitating scientific research at multiple steps throughout the drug development process. We are a transparent, patient-driven voice and advocate. Families, with all forms of the disease, are our primary focus. Working together as a united voice, we elevate the impact of the Batten community in North America and beyond.