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Center for children with white matter disorders

Since Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) became available at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam in 1985, the Departments of Child Neurology (Dr. Marjo S. van der Knaap) and Neuroradiology (Dr. Jaap Valk) have collaborated in the analysis of white matter disorders. It soon became clear that the pattern of MRI abnormalities was different for different disorders and that, therefore, MR images could provide useful information about the diagnosis in a patient with a white matter disorder. Based on this information, an MRI  "pattern recognition" program was developed that proved to work and has received worldwide recognition since. Subsequently, the program was applied to unclassified white matter disorders and has been able to contribute to the definition of several new disorders. They have published many articles on the subject of white matter disorders and a book (Magnetic Resonance of Myelin, Myelination and Myelin Disorders, Springer Verlag, 1995), worldwide considered as a standard text in the field. They have been awarded the gold medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine for pioneering work on Magnetic Resonance of neurodegenerative and neurometabolic disorders of children. Over the years, a growing number of children with a white matter disorder were referred to the VU medical Institute and many MRI's of such children were sent for a second opinion. In 2000, it was decided to establish a Center for Childhood White Matter Disorders at the VU Medical Institute.

The purpose of the Center is to optimize diagnostics and patient care for children with a white matter disorder and to perform research on the subject

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