Linkage analysis is described in a family with X-linked mental retardation, ataxia, weakness, floppiness, delayed motor development, absence of deep tendon reflexes, hearing impairment and loss of vision (MIM no. 301835). The disease has a fatal course due to the susceptibility of the patients to infections, especially of the respiratory tract. Clinical signs indicate impairment of the posterior columns, peripheral motor and sensory neurons and the second and eighth cranial nerves and/or their nuclei. The involvement of the posterior columns of the spinal cord is further suggested by the almost complete absence of myelinated fibers therein. We localized the responsible gene(s) to Xq21.33-q24 between DXS1231 and DXS1001 with a maximum lod score of 6.97. The proteolipid protein gene, which codes for two myelin proteins of the central nervous system and is located in this region, was considered as a candidate gene for this disorder. However, no mutations were found in the protein-coding part of this gene.