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A case of pigmentary type of orthochromatic leukodystrophy with early onset and globoid cells

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We report herein a sporadic case of the pigmentary type of orthochromatic leukodystrophy with early onset and very rapid clinical course. The patient's development was normal until 2 years old, when he experienced visual disturbance. Rapid deterioration resulted in death 1.5 years after the onset. Metachromatic leukodystrophy, globoid cell leukodystrophy and adrenoleukodystrophy were excluded by biochemical assays. Autopsy findings were compatible with the diagnosis of the pigmentary type of orthochromatic leukodystrophy. However, there were unique findings of severe neuronal loss and the collection of globoid-like cells in the interface of the gray matter and the white matter. Immunohistochemical staining of myelin basic protein, proteolipid protein and galactocerebroside demonstrated that these myelin constituents were equally preserved in the posterior column, while absent in the lateral and anterior columns of the spinal cord.

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Taniike, M., Fujimura, H., Kogaki, S. et al. A case of pigmentary type of orthochromatic leukodystrophy with early onset and globoid cells. Acta Neuropathol 83, 427–433 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00713537

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Key words

  • Orthochromatic leukodystrophy (OLD)
  • Globoid cell
  • Proteolipid protein (PLP)
  • Neuropathology
  • Ceroid-lipofuscin