, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 435-447

Adrenoleukodystrophy: natural history, treatment and outcome

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Summary

Our laboratory has identified nearly 2000 patients with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and conducted therapeutic trials in groups of patients who represent the major phenotypes. We report recent results of dietary therapy with a mixture of glyceryl trioleate and glyceryl trierucate oil, also referred to as Lorenzo's Oil, in the asymptomatic and childhood cerebral phenotypes. Fifty-three patients started this therapy at a mean age of 7.5 years at a time when they were free of neurological symptoms. Although analysis of data is hampered by the lack of a concurrent control group, follow-up studies after 39 months of therapy suggest that subsequent neurological involvement was less frequent and less severe than anticipated from historical controls. Retrospective analysis of the effect of the oil in patients with the severe childhood cerebral phenotype indicates that there was a slight but statistically significant slowing of clinical progression and delay of death.