Insights into the dynamics of hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids

J. A. Van Gerpen, C. Wider, D. F. Broderick, D. W. Dickson, L. A. Brown, Z. K. Wszolek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To report a new American family with hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS), including serial, presymptomatic and symptomatic, cranial MRIs from the proband. METHODS: We report clinical and genealogic investigations of an HDLS family, sequential brain MRIs of the proband, and autopsy slides of brain tissue from the probandĝ€™ s father. RESULTS: We identified seven affected family members (five deceased). The mean age at symptomatic disease onset was 35 years (range: 20ĝ€"57), and the mean disease duration was 16 years (range: 3ĝ€"46). Five affected individuals initially manifested memory disturbance and behavioral changes, whereas two experienced a mood disorder as their presenting symptom. Our probandĝ€™s father had been diagnosed clinically with vascular dementia, but his brain autopsy was consistent with HDLS. The proband had a cranial MRI prior to symptom onset, with two subsequent MRIs performed during follow-up. These serial images reveal a progressive, confluent, frontal-predominant leukoencephalopathy with symmetric cortical atrophy. CONCLUSIONS: The proband of our newly identified hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) kindred had subtle evidence of an incipient leukoencephalopathy on a presymptomatic cranial MRI. Conceivably, MRI may facilitate identifying affected presymptomatic individuals within known HDLS kindreds, increasing the likelihood of isolating the causative genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 16 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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