The causes of leukodystrophy in children are genetic, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Genes are responsible for the failure of the myelin sheath to insulate the white matter in the brain. There are several kinds of leukodystrophy.
The types include Krabbé disease, Canavan disease and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, according to NINDS. The prognosis of the disease depends on the kind of disease and when it starts to manifest. For example, if a baby starts to manifest Krabbé disease before she's 6 months old, she usually dies before she's two, says Mayo Clinic. If symptoms begin later in life, the prognosis is varied.
Treating leukodystrophy involves supporting the child and attempting to ease the symptoms, although studies of bone marrow transplantation provide promising results, claims NINDS. Stem cell transplants also have some success in some cases, notes Mayo Clinic.