Diffuse white matter changes on brain imaging and peripheral neuropathy are associated features of merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). In this report we describe the early manifestation and evolution of brain changes, and the involvement of the peripheral nervous system in a female infant with merosin-deficient CMD diagnosed in the neonatal period who had sequential clinical, neurophysiological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment. Both MRI and nerve conduction velocity in the first week of life failed to demonstrate any abnormality. By 6 months of age both nerve conduction and MRI were abnormal. White matter changes became more evident on a further scan at 1 yr of age and this pattern remained unchanged on the following scan performed at 17 months of age. Our findings suggest a failure in the physiological maturation process of myelination of both the central and peripheral nervous system.