Molecular and Chemical Neuropathology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 121–129 | Cite as

Arylsulfatase A (ASA) defect and psychiatric illness

A review
  • Shantilal N. Shah


The detection of homozygous (disease state) and heterozygous (carrier) forms of metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and their prevalence among psychiatric individuals are reviewed. Levels of Arylsulfatase A (ASA) activity in peripheral leukocytes, mixed white cell populations, and lymphocytes are compared in normal and psychiatric patients. The prevalence of low levels of enzyme activity in psychiatric patients, and the implications of such levels with regard to the metabolic disease states and associated psychiatric illnesses are discussed. In addition, the use and reliability of leukocyte enzyme assay systems as a criteria for determining and distinguishing between the homozygous and heterozygous conditions are evaluated.

Index Entries

Psychiatric Illness arylsulfatase A defect meta-chromatic leukodystrophy heterozygosity 



arylsulfatase A


metachromatic leukodystrophy






arylsulfatase B


nitrocatechol sulfate


cerebroside sulfate




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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shantilal N. Shah
    • 1
  1. 1.Brain-Behavior Research Center, Sonoma Development CenterUniversity of California, San FranciscoEldridge

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