X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a peroxisomial disorder caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene. Adrenomyeloneuropathy is the second most frequent phenotype (25-46%) of this disease and classically presents in adulthood with spastic paraparesis. Female heterozygotes can be symptomatic, but they are frequently misdiagnosed as having multiple sclerosis.
We report a novel missense mutation in the ABCD1 gene in a 47-year-old French-Canadian female with spastic paraparesis and no confirmed family history of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. The mutation is located on exon 1 and causes the amino acid substitution of a valine for an alanine in a region of the protein highly conserved between mouse and man.
Adrenomyeloneuropathy must be considered in the differential diagnosis of spastic paraparesis in men or women. This is an initial report of an ABCD1 gene mutation in the French-Canadian population, which should lead to the recognition of other cases in the future.