Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is reported for the first time in a patient with Sjogren-Larsson syndrome, an autosomal recessive neurocutaneous disorder. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) revealed normal levels of choline, creatine and N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and the characteristic lipid signals in the white matter brain tissue. Conventional MRI showed increased signal intensity around the lateral ventricles indicating abnormal myelination. DTI revealed normal apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, but reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in the white matter. After co-registration of the parameters obtained with DTI with the results of MRS (36 voxels), significant correlations were obtained of lipid content with FA (r = 0.81), ADC (r = -0.62), choline (r = 0.51), and NAA (r = 0.44) (P <0.01, all). These results suggest that in Sjogren-Larsson syndrome, the white matter lipid signals originate from the neurons, with NAA and choline reflecting neuron density and myelination. The comparatively high FA/low ADC values in these lipid-rich locations, indicate a loss of diffusion in directions perpendicular to the fibers. The overall loss of FA in the white matter may reflect a loss of brain tissue water content in SLS patients compared with controls and precede the formation of atrophy. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.