Metachromatic leukodystrophy digital illustration

Metachromatic leukodystrophy Save

ICD-10 code: E75.25

Chapter: Endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases

Metachromatic Leukodystrophy: Understanding the Rare Genetic Disease

Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a rare genetic disease that affects the central nervous system. It is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA), which leads to the accumulation of a fatty substance called sulfatide in the brain and nervous system. This buildup results in the destruction of the protective covering around nerve cells, called myelin, and leads to progressive neurological damage.

There are three forms of MLD: late infantile, juvenile, and adult onset. The late infantile form is the most common and typically presents between 6 months and 2 years of age. Symptoms include developmental regression, muscle weakness, seizures, and loss of vision and hearing. The juvenile form usually presents between 4 and 10 years of age and is characterized by behavioral changes, difficulty with speech and motor skills, and muscle stiffness. The adult onset form is the rarest and typically presents in the third or fourth decade of life. Symptoms may include psychiatric symptoms, difficulty with coordination and balance, and muscle weakness.

MLD is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that a child must inherit two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent, to develop the disease. It is estimated to affect 1 in 40,000 to 160,000 individuals worldwide.

Treatment and Management

Currently, there is no cure for MLD. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and medications to manage pain, seizures, and other symptoms. Gene therapy and enzyme replacement therapy are being studied as potential treatments for MLD, but they are still in the experimental stages.


Metachromatic leukodystrophy is a rare genetic disease that can have devastating effects on individuals and families. Early diagnosis and management of symptoms can improve quality of life and prolong survival. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of MLD, it is important to seek medical attention and genetic counseling.



Diagnosis Codes for Metachromatic leukodystrophy | E75.25