WHAT IS BATTEN DISEASE?
Batten disease is named after the British pediatrician who first described it in 1903. Also known as Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren-Batten disease, it is the most common form of a group of disorders called Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (or NCL).
Although Batten disease is usually regarded as the Juvenile form of NCL, it has now become the term to encompass all forms of NCL.
The forms of NCL are classified by age of onset and have the same basic cause, progression and outcome but are all genetically different, meaning each is the result of a different gene. Over time, affected children suffer mental impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills. Eventually, children with Batten disease/NCL become blind, bedridden and unable to communicate, and, presently, it is always fatal.
Batten disease is not contagious or, at this time, preventable.