US-based Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has launched a Leukodystrophy Centre of Excellence for children with degenerative inherited white matter diseases.

The leukodystrophies are a group of rare and inherited disorders, which affect the white matter in the brain and spinal cord resulting in developmental regression and premature death.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia neurology division chief Dr Brenda Banwell said: "The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia launched the Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence recognising the increased need for families to obtain state-of-the-art laboratory and imaging diagnostics and integrated multi-disciplinary care from top specialists across CHOP.

"The centre will help children living with a leukodystrophy by providing a multi-disciplinary programme to address their complex medical needs."

"The new initiative is also dedicated to developing new evidence-based treatments so desperately needed to help these children."

The centre will help children living with a leukodystrophy by providing a multi-disciplinary programme to address their complex medical needs.

The clinic includes experts from neurology, metabolics, rehabilitative medicine, physical and occupational therapy, as well as complex care paediatrics.

CHOP will also offer a clinic specifically for infants identified by expanded newborn screening programmes and will carry out new research to advance treatment options for these fatal diseases.

CHOP Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence medical director Dr Amy Waldman said: "We are so grateful for the outpouring of support by the Philadelphia community, including the Calliope Joy Foundation, Hunter’s Hope, The University of Pennsylvania Orphan Disease Centre, and many others."