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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2005 Jan;30(1):33-6.

Adult metachromatic leukodystrophy: disorganized schizophrenia-like symptoms and postpartum depression in 2 sisters.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Maribor Teaching Hospital, Maribor, Slovenia.


We describe the cases of 2 sisters with adult metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). Whereas one sister presented with disorganized schizophrenia-like symptoms as the initial manifestation of MLD, the other remained symptom free except for a 4-week period of postpartum depression. In both patients, there was some residual activity of leukocyte arylsulfatase A (1.7% and 5.5% of normal), and a marked increase in urinary sulfatides was present, as measured by tandem mass spectrometry. An arylsulfatase A pseudodeficiency was therefore excluded. The most common mutations of the adult phenotype, Ile-179-Ser and Pro-426-Leu, were not found. In the literature, only 1 case of adult MLD manifesting as disorganized schizophrenia-like symptoms has been described, whereas postpartum depression has been so far unknown as a presenting symptom of MLD.

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