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Myelin refers to the electrical insulation sheath around axons which allows neurons to quickly send electrical impulses to one another.
Leukodystrophy is a dysmyelinating disease, meaning the structure of the myelin is abnormal, and it’s usually due to a genetic mutation.
In contrast, in a demyelinating diseases, previously normal myelin is damaged, like in multiple sclerosis where the immune cells attack the myelin.
The cerebral cortex is the largest region of the brain and it’s responsible for sensory and motor functions.
The cerebral cortex has an outer grey area and an inner white area.
The grey area, referred to as grey matter, houses neuron cell bodies.
And the white area, referred to as white matter, houses myelinated axons.
It is lighter because of the high fat content in myelin.
Neurons are the key cells that transmit neural impulses to one another through synapses.
Each neuron has dendrites, a cell body, and an axon.
Dendrites are the branches that first receive a neural impulse at a synapse with another neuron.
Myelin is a specialized membrane which helps insulate the axon to make neural impulses travel faster.
Leukodystrophy refers to a group of dysmyelinating diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system caused by genetic mutations in enzymes necessary for myelin production. The most common types are metachromatic leukodystrophy, Krabbe disease, and adrenoleukodystrophy. Symptoms are due to neurodegeneration, like decreased motor function, muscular rigidity, and later, blindness and hearing loss.
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