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Abstract

—Myelin and microsomes were separated from human cerebral white matter and cortex respectively using the technique of 15% caesium chloride and their sphingolipid and phospholipid contents estimated. Normal brains as well as cerebral material from cases of metachromatic leucodystrophy, Krabbe's disease and Tay-Sachs’disease were studied.

Gangliosides were not present in normal myelin but were found in microsomes and in myelin from the pathological material. The ratio of cerebroside to sulphatide in myelin was 4 to 1 in normal, 1 to 20 in metachromatic and 7 to 1 in Krabbe's disease.

The results in the human material are briefly discussed.