Hunter syndrome is a rare, inherited disorder that affects every organ in the body. Officially called mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II), physicians diagnose this condition primarily in males. Historically, the medical community divided Hunter syndrome into two groups, severe and mild. Doctors now view this disease as a continuous spectrum with a wide, varied range of possible symptoms. Some individuals experience severe symptoms, others less severe, but most fall in the intermediate range.
Hunter syndrome is one of seven types of mucopolysaccharidosis disorders. All are hereditary lysosomal storage disorders. Individuals with MPS conditions accumulate an abnormal amount of specific complex carbohydrates in their tissue cells. Normally, lysosomes serve as the primary digestive units inside cells. They contain enzymes that break down nutrients, like carbohydrates and fats. Those with MPS disorders are unable to digest these nutrients because the lysosomal enzymes are not functioning properly. Instead, they build up inside the skeleton, joints, brain, spinal cord, liver, heart, and other organs.
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