Leukodystrophy is a rare disease
, usually genetic
, characterized by a loss of myelin in the central and peripheral nervous system. Myelin is a substance present in the brain and spinal cord
, which surrounds and protects nerves and enables a more rapid propagation of information. Symptoms appear in childhood, then gradually progress: motor disturbances, intellectual decline, loss of speech, and sensory loss. Various forms of leukodystrophies exist, and these rare diseases
are part of the so-called orphan diseases. The ELA (European Leukodystrophy Association), sponsored by Zinedine Zidane, is involved in research and improving the quality of life of affected children.