Zellweger syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by the reduction or absence of functional peroxisomes in the cells of an individual.
Zellweger syndrome is associated with impaired neuronal migration, neuronal positioning, and brain development. In addition, individuals with Zellweger syndrome can show a reduction in central nervous system myelin (particularly cerebral), which is referred to as hypomyelination. Myelin is critical for normal CNS functions, and in this regard, serves to insulate nerve fibers in the brain.
Zellweger syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in genes that encode peroxins, proteins required for the normal assembly of peroxisomes. Most commonly, patients have mutations in the peroxisome biogenesis factor genes.