Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lancet. 2000 Aug 26;356(9231):713-8.

Long-term effect of bone-marrow transplantation for childhood-onset cerebral X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.

Author information

  • 1Division of Paediatric Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.



The childhood-onset cerebral form of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, a demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system, leads to a vegetative state and death within 3-5 years once clinical symptoms are detectable. The hypothesis to be tested was whether bone-marrow transplantation can over an extended period of time halt the inexorable progressive demyelination and neurological deterioration.


12 patients with childhood onset of cerebral X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy have been followed for 5-10 years after bone-marrow transplantation. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neurological, neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and plasma very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) measurements were used to evaluate the effect of this treatment.


MRI showed complete reversal of abnormalities in two patients and improvement in one. One patient showed no change from baseline to last follow-up. All eight patients who showed an initial period of continued demyelination stabilised and remained unchanged thereafter. Motor function remained normal or improved after bone-marrow transplantation in ten patients. Verbal intelligence remained within the normal range for 11 patients. Performance (non-verbal) abilities were improved or were stable in seven patients. Decline in performance abilities followed by stability occurred in five patients. Plasma VLCFA concentrations decreased by 55% and remained slightly above the upper limits of normal.


5-10-year follow-up of 12 patients with childhood-onset cerebral X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy shows the long-term beneficial effect of bone marrow transplantation when the procedure is done at an early stage of the disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center