One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: an inherited (X-linked recessive) disorder characterized by atrophy of the adrenal cortex and degeneration of the white matter of the nervous system, typically appearing in prepubertal boys, and leading to Addisonian symptoms, spastic paralysis, and mental deterioration. Later also (more fully "neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy"): a similar disorder inherited in an autosomal recessive manner and appearing in infancy.
1970s. From adreno- + leukodystrophy.
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