Three unrelated Japanese patients who presented with ataxia and mild mental retardation were examined in this study. Early development was normal in two patients and slightly delayed in one. All could walk independently, but were unstable due to cerebellar ataxia. They had mild intellectual retardation and displayed slow, progressive, and mild clinical courses. Two patients lost the ability to walk at 12 and 25 years of age. Brain MRI of the three patients revealed diffuse cerebral hypomyelination, moderate cerebellar cortical atrophy, and hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, which were seen in other diffuse hypomyelination syndrome. No known abnormalities were found in biochemical and genetic studies. Auditory brainstem responses and nerve conduction studies were normal. A definite diagnosis could not be made because of the lack of hypodontia, hypogonadism, cataracts, or basal ganglia atrophy. Based on common MRI findings and the relatively mild clinical courses, we believe that these patients may have another subset form of diffuse hypomyelination syndrome involving the cerebral white matter and cerebellum.