We performed high-resolution in vitro proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy on cerebrospinal fluid and urine samples of 44 patients with leukodystrophies of unknown cause. Free sialic acid concentration was increased in cerebrospinal fluid of two siblings with mental retardation and mild hypomyelination. By contrast, urinary excretion of free sialic acid in urine was normal on repeated testing by two independent methods. Both patients were homozygous for the K136E mutation in SLC17A5, the gene responsible for the free sialic acid storage diseases. Our findings demonstrate that mutations in the SLC17A5 gene have to be considered in patients with hypomyelination, even in the absence of sialuria.

doi.org/10.1002/ana.21624, hdl.handle.net/1765/24060
Annals of Neurology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Mochel, F., Yang, B., Barritault, J., Thompson, J., Engelke, U., McNeill, N., … Schiffmann, R. (2009). Free sialic acid storage disease without sialuria. Annals of Neurology, 65(6), 753–757. doi:10.1002/ana.21624