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Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2013;17(3):269-82. doi: 10.1002/ddrr.1120.

Neuroimaging of lipid storage disorders.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's National Medical Center and the George Washington University of the Health Sciences, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.


Lipid storage diseases, also known as the lipidoses, are a group of inherited metabolic disorders in which there is lipid accumulation in various cell types, including the central nervous system, because of the deficiency of a variety of enzymes. Over time, excessive storage can cause permanent cellular and tissue damage. The brain is particularly sensitive to lipid storage as the contents of the central nervous system must occupy uniform volume, and any increases in fluids or deposits will lead to pressure changes and interference with normal neurological function. In addition to primary lipid storage diseases, lysosomal storage diseases include the mucolipidoses (in which excessive amounts of lipids and carbohydrates are stored in the cells and tissues) and the mucopolysaccharidoses (in which abnormal glycosylated proteins cannot be broken down because of enzyme deficiency). Neurological dysfunction can be a manifestation of these conditions due to substrate deposition as well. This review will explore the modalities of neuroimaging that may have particular relevance to the study of the lipid storage disorder and their impact on elucidating aspects of brain function. First, the techniques will be reviewed. Next, the neuropathology of a few selected lipid storage disorders will be reviewed and the use of neuroimaging to define disease characteristics discussed in further detail. Examples of studies using these techniques will be discussed in the text.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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