The Classification and Cause of Leukodystrophies of Unknown Cause
Leukodystrophy is a disease of the white matter of the brain. White matter is the portion of the brain responsible for conducting electrical impulses from one area of the brain to the other. Insulating cells called myelin cover the brain and nerve cells in the white matter. If myelin becomes damaged electrical information cannot be transferred properly.
Many patients suffering from leukodystrophies do not fit the description of any of the defined types of leukodystrophies and are therefore considered to have a leukodystrophy of unknown cause.
The purpose of this study is to define groups of patients with leukodystrophies and to work toward finding the cause of the disorders. In order to do this, researchers will analyze patients with leukodystrophies of unknown causes. Patients will undergo clinical, neurophysiologic, biochemical, and genetic examinations and tests.
Researchers believe that by studying these patients and their disorders they will be able to better understand the causes of myelin destruction, and eventually lead to effective treatments for these disorders.
Lysosomal Storage Disease
|Official Title:||The Nosology and Etiology of Leukodystrophies of Unknown Cause|
|Study Start Date:||September 1997|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2008|
Patients with leukodystrophies (LDs) of unknown etiology are a heterogeneous group but constitute the second largest group of genetic white matter diseases. The purpose of this study is to: (a) define novel homogeneous groups of patients with LDs and (b) work toward finding the cause of these disorders. In order to achieve these goals, patients with LDs of unknown cause will be analyzed clinically, neurophysiologically, biochemically and genetically. Patients would have been diagnosed as having no known leukodystrophies at outside centers. At the Clinical Center, such patients will undergo a series of neuropsychological, blood, urine, spinal fluid, radiological, and peripheral tissue pathological tests. Some of these tests will be part of a standard battery while others will be tailored to individual patients. Patients will be followed for 3 years. Patients will be screened for mutations in genes coding for structural myelin proteins. In some patients in whom all tests yielded no information regarding the etiology of their disease, open brain biopsy will be considered. Brain biopsy tissue will be evaluated using a novel combination of approaches including detailed pathological, immunohistochemical, and biochemical analysis of myelin proteins and lipids. Oligodendroglial biology and expression of myelin genes in the brain will also be investigated in situ. It is hoped that the present study will help clarify the nosology of the leukodystrophies and significantly advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of these diseases.
|United States, California|
|University of California, San Francisco|
|San Francisco, California, United States, 94143|
|United States, District of Columbia|
|Childrens National Medical Center|
|Washington, District of Columbia, United States|
|Institut National de la Sante' et de la Recherche Medicale|
|Clermont-Ferrand, Cedex, France, 63001|
|Tel Aviv University|
|Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Academiseh Ziuekenhuis Vrije Universiteit|