Rare Pediatrics News

Disease Profile

Leukodystrophy

Prevalence
Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

Unknown

Age of onset

-

ICD-10

E75.2

Inheritance

Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease

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Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype

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X-linked
dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.

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X-linked
recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder

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Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

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Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.

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Not applicable

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Categories

Congenital and Genetic Diseases; Eye diseases; Nervous System Diseases;

Summary

A leukodystrophy is a type of rare genetic disorder that affects the brain, spinal cord, and other nerves in the body. It is caused by destruction of the white matter of the brain. The white matter degrades due to defects of the myelin, which is a fatty covering that insulates nerves in the brain. Myelin is needed to protect the nerves and the nerves can't function normally without it. These disorders are progressive, meaning they tend to get worse with time. The leukodystrophies are a group of disorders caused by spelling mistakes (mutations) in the genes involved in making 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 decline in functioning of an infant or child who previously appeared healthy. This gradual loss may be seen with issues in body tone, movements, gait, speech, ability to eat, vision, hearing, and behavior.[1][2]

Organizations

Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.

Organizations Providing General Support

    Learn more

    These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

    Where to Start

    • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides 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 this topic.
    • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

      In-Depth Information

      • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
      • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
      • 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.

        References

        1. NINDS Leukodystrophy Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. November 3, 2009; https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/leukodystrophy/leukodystrophy.htm. Accessed 1/25/2010.
        2. Leukodystrophy. NORD. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD): 2016; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/leukodystrophy/.