Krabbe disease is a progressive leukodystrophy that results in demyelination in the central and peripheral nervous systems in humans. It has been described in a number of mammalian species including the rhesus monkey. We performed serial nerve conduction studies beginning within the first 2 months of life in four homozygous, two heterozygous, and two normal rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to characterize the peripheral neuropathy. Mean conduction velocities of the median, ulnar, and tibial nerves were significantly slower in the affected than unaffected monkeys at all ages (P < 0.0001). The conduction velocity differences became more apparent between the affected and unaffected as the monkeys aged. When compared to the unaffected monkeys, the serial conduction velocities suggested occurrence of dysmyelination followed by demyelination in the affected monkeys. These observations provide further insight into the disease process and suggest an early window of opportunity for treating Krabbe disease.
- Krabbe disease
- Nerve conduction studies