Autosomal recessive inherited mutations in each of the five eukaryotic initiation factor 2B (eIF2B) subunits are known to cause white matter abnormalities with a wide continuum of clinical signs and severity leading to the concept of eIF2B-related disorders. The clinical spectrum extends from fatal infantile forms to adult forms with slow or absent neurological deterioration. In this study 15 well-characterised patients with the classical form of leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM) or with phenotypic variants like ovarioleukodystrophy were investigated for mutations in the genes EIF2B1, EIF2B2, EIF2B3, EIF2B4, and EIF2B5 encoding eIF2B. We identified one novel nonsense mutation (EIF2B4, c.625C>T, p.Arg209X), one novel frameshift mutation (EIF2B5, c.453_454del, p.Tyr152fsX12), eight novel missense muations (EIF2B1, c.547G>T, p.Val183Phe; EIF2B2, c. 586C>T, p.Pro196Ser; EIF2B4, c.806T>G, p.Leu269Arg; EIF2B5, c.203T>C, p.Leu68Ser; EIF2B5, c.220G>A, p.Ala74Thr; EIF2B5, c.805C>G, p.Arg269Gly; EIF2B5, c.929G>T, p.Cys310Phe; EIF2B5, c.1003T>C, p.Cys335Arg), and eight previously described alterations. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.