Skip to Content

View Additional Content In This Section

Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • PMD
  • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease
  • sclerosis, diffuse familial brain
  • sudanophilic leukodystrophy, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher type

Disorder Subdivisions

  • classical x-linked Pelizaeus-Merzbacher brain sclerosis
  • acute infantile Pelizaeus-Merzbacher brain sclerosis
  • autosomal dominant Pelizaeus-Merzbacher brain sclerosis
  • late onset Pelizaeus-Merzbacher brain sclerosis

General Discussion

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a rare X-linked genetic disorder affecting the central nervous system that is associated with abnormalities of the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms develop due to lack of the fatty covering (myelin sheath) of nerve cell fibers. Many areas of the central nervous system may be affected, including the deep portions of the cerebrum (subcortical), cerebellum, brain stem and spinal cord. Signs may include the impaired ability to coordinate movement (ataxia), involuntary muscle spasms (spasticity) that result in slow, stiff movements of the legs, delays in reaching developmental milestones, and late onset loss of motor abilities and progressive deterioration of intellectual function. The neurologic signs of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease are usually slowly progressive.

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease is associated with abnormalities (mutations) in the PLP1 gene. Several forms of the disorder have been identified including classic PMD; connatal PMD; transitional PMD; and PLP1 null syndrome. Forms of complicated spastic paraparesis and pure spastic paraparesis (designated SPG2) are also caused by the PLP1 gene.

Resources

CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
Climb Building
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, CW2 6BG
United Kingdom
Tel: 4408452412173
Fax: 4408452412174
Email: enquiries@climb.org.uk
Internet: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk

March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)997-4488
Fax: (914)997-4763
Tel: (888)663-4637
Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

United Leukodystrophy Foundation
224 N. 2nd St.
Suite 2
DeKalb, IL 60115
Tel: (815)748-3211
Tel: (800)728-5483
Email: office@ulf.org
Internet: http://www.ulf.org/

ELA - European Association Against Leukodystrophies
2, rue Mi-les-Vignes
54521
Laxou Cedex, 61024
France
Tel: 33383309334
Fax: 33383300068
Email: ela@ela-asso.com
Internet: http://www.ela-asso.com

NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981
Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

Hunter's Hope Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 643
6368 West Quaker Street
Orchard Park, NY 14127
Tel: (716)667-1200
Fax: (716)667-1212
Tel: (877)984-4673
Email: info@huntershope.org
Internet: http://www.huntershope.org

Australian Leukodystrophy Support Group, Inc.
Nerve Centre
54 Railway Road
Blackburn, VIC 3130
Australia
Tel: 61395847070
Tel: 1800141400
Email: mail@alds.org.au
Internet: http://www.alds.org.au

Pelizaeus Merzbacher Disease Support Group
43 Fir Tree Close
Flitwick
Bedfordshire, MK45 1NY
United Kingdom
Tel: 01525716907
Email: pmdsupport@dsl.pipex.com
Internet: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc.asp?doc=26739559

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Madisons Foundation
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310)264-0826
Fax: (310)264-4766
Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

PMD Foundation
1307 White Horse Road
Suite 603
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Tel: (609)443-9623
Email: dhobson@pmdfoundation.org or jeffleonard@pmdfoundation.org
Internet: http://www.pmdfoundation.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  4/8/2010
Copyright  1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 2001, 2010 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

2650 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, OR 97504

541-789-7000