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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Leukodystrophy


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Overview

Leukodystrophy refers to the progressive degeneration of the white matter of the brain due to abnormalities of myelin, the fatty covering that insulates nerves. The leukodystrophies are a group of disorders caused by mutations in the genes involved in the production of myelin. Specific leukodystrophies include metachromatic leukodystrophy, Krabbe leukodystrophy, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, Canavan disease, and Alexander disease. The most common symptom of a leukodystrophy is a gradual decline in functioning of an infant or child who previously appeared well. Progressive loss may appear in body tone, movements, gait, speech, ability to eat, vision, hearing, and behavior.[1] 
Last updated: 1/25/2010

References

  1. NINDS Leukodystrophy Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. November 3, 2009; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/leukodystrophy/leukodystrophy.htm. Accessed 1/25/2010.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it┬áprovides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on┬áthis topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Leukodystrophy. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.