Adrenomyeloneuropathy in patients with 'Addison's disease': genetic case analysis

J R Soc Med. 2006 May;99(5):245-9. doi: 10.1177/014107680609900516.


Objective: To review the clinical presentations and diagnostic issues in adrenomyeloneuropathy and adrenoleukodystrophy, which are different presentations of the same single gene disorder.

Design: Observational study.

Participants: Three generations of an affected kindred.

Intervention: None.

Main outcome measures: Neurological features suggestive of adrenoleukodystrophy or adrenomyeloneuropathy. Measurement of very long chain fatty acids. Molecular analysis of the adrenoleukodystrophy gene.

Results: Three adults presented with adrenomyeloneuropathy and two children with adrenoleukodystrophy. Circulating concentrations of long chain fatty acids were raised consistent with clinical features. A mutation in exon 6 of the adrenoleukodystrophy gene (P543L) was identified. This had not previously been identified but has subsequently been reported by other groups.

Conclusions: Adrenomyeloneuropathy should be considered in the differential diagnosis in male patients presenting with adrenal failure. Early diagnosis allows genetic counselling in such families and may become more important as treatment strategies evolve.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • Addison Disease / complications
  • Addison Disease / diagnosis
  • Addison Disease / genetics*
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / complications
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / diagnosis
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatty Acids / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Pedigree


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Fatty Acids