Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), an X-linked inherited metabolic disorder, is the most frequent inborn peroxisomal disease. It leads to demyelination in the central and peripheral nervous system. Defective beta-oxidation of saturated very long chain fatty acids (VLCFAs; C22:0-C26:0) in peroxisomes has been shown to lead to an accumulation of VLCFAs in leukoid areas of the central nervous system, peripheral nerves, adrenal gland, and blood. The ALD gene has been recently identified and encodes a 745-amino-acid protein. We screened patients with adrenoleukodystrophy/adrenomyeloneuropathy (ALD/AMN) from 20 kindreds for mutations in the ALD gene. Eleven missense and two nonsense mutations, five deletions, and one insertion were detected by direct sequencing of eight reverse transcribed fragments of the ALD-gene mRNA. Four mutations could be shown to be de novo. All mutations could be confirmed in carriers by sequencing genomic DNA. No correlation between the type of mutation and the severity of the phenotype could be observed. The mutations were not detected in the ALD gene of 30 healthy persons.