The first girl in a family was affected with late infantile metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and had the expected characteristic central nervous system progressive deterioration, which resulted in decerebration and death. The second girl (propositus) demonstrated similar symptoms and signs at the same age. Both girls had characteristically low arylsulfatase A levels. The propositus underwent allogeneic bone transplantation (BMT) from a normal histocompatible sibling. Two and a half years later, the propositus has not developed the intellectual and neurologic impairment demonstrated by the first sibling, although nerve conduction has continued to worsen. These results suggest that the induction of normal enzyme levels by BMT may be retarding or inhibiting CNS deterioration. These results, confirming earlier results of others, are sufficiently promising to warrant a larger scale critical trial of BMT early in the course of MLD.
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