Leukodystrophies are a group of rare, progressive, metabolic, genetic diseases that affect the brain, spinal cord and often the peripheral nerves. Each type of leukodystrophy is caused by a specific gene abnormality that leads to abnormal development or destruction of the white matter (myelin sheath) of the brain.
In decreasing order of frequency, 3 forms of Alexander disease are recognized, based on age of onset: infantile, juvenile, and adult. Younger patients typically present with seizures, megalencephaly, developmental delay, and spasticity. In older patients, bulbar or pseudobulbar symptoms predominate, frequently accompanied by spasticity. The disease is progressive, with most patients dying within 10 years of onset. Imaging studies of the brain typically show cerebral white matter abnormalities, preferentially affecting the frontal region. All 3 forms have been shown to be caused by mutations in the GFAP gene.Test Details
Adrenoleukodystrophy is an X-linked disorder which is secondary to a mutation in the ABCD1 gene and results in the apparent defect in peroxisomal beta oxidation and the accumulation of the saturated very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) in all tissues of the body. The manifestations of the disorder occur primarily in the adrenal cortex, the myelin of the central nervous system, and the Leydig cells of the testes.Test Details
Canavan disease, also called Canavan–van Bogaert–Bertrand disease, is an autosomal recessive degenerative disorder that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain, and is one of the most common degenerative cerebral diseases of infancy.Test Details
The metachromatic leukodystrophies comprise several allelic disorders. Kihara (1982) recognized 5 allelic forms of MLD: late infantile, juvenile, and adult forms, partial cerebroside sulfate deficiency, and pseudoarylsulfatase A deficiency.Test Details