URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/leukodystrophies.html

Leukodystrophies

On this page

Learn More

Multimedia & Tools

  • No links available

For You

  • No links available

Summary

The leukodystrophies are rare diseases that affect the cells of the brain. Specifically, the diseases affect the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells. Damage to this sheath slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the rest of the body. This leads to problems with

  • Movement
  • Speaking
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Mental and physical development

Most of the leukodystrophies are genetic. They usually appear during infancy or childhood. They can be hard to detect early because children seem healthy at first. However, symptoms gradually get worse over time.

There are no cures for any of the leukodystrophies. Medicines, speech therapy and physical therapy might help with symptoms. Researchers are testing bone marrow transplantation as a treatment for some of the leukodystrophies.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Start Here

Diagnosis/Symptoms

Treatment

Specific Conditions

Clinical Trials

Dictionaries/Glossaries

Directories