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Leukodystrophy

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Leukodystrophy Definition

Definition

Leukodystrophy is a rare disease that results in the progressive decline of the myelin, or “white matter,” of the brain. Myelin works to insulate and protect axons, which transmit signals from the brain throughout the body.

Types of leukodystrophies include:

  • Metachromatic leukodystrophy
  • Krabbé disease
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Adrenomyelopathy
  • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease
  • Canavan disease
  • Childhood ataxia with central nervous system hypomyelination (CACH, also called vanishing white matter disease)
  • Alexander disease
  • Refsum disease
  • Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis

Most leukodystrophies begin in infancy or childhood. However, there are several types that may not begin until adolescence or early adulthood.

Neuronal Axon With Myelin Sheath

AX00010_97870_1_myelin_sheath
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

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