Photo of Florian S. Eichler, MD

Florian S. Eichler, MD

  • Director of the Leukodystrophy Service


Accepting New Patients


As director of the Leukodystrophy Service at MGH I see patients with a variety of neurogenetic disorders and am actively studying abnormal accumulation of lipids in both my clinic and my laboratory.



Clinical Interests
  • Neurogenetics
  • Developmental delays
  • White matter disease
  • Leukodystrophies
  • Hereditary peripheral neuropathies
Medical Education
  • MD, University of Vienna
  • Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital|Residency, Vienna General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Patient Gateway
Yes, learn more
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - New York
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group
Adult and Pediatric

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Florian Eichler received his M.D. from the University of Vienna Medical School. After graduating from medical school in 1997, he entered residency in Pediatrics and pursued studies on cerebral blood flow and metabolism at the University of Vienna. In 1999 he won a scholarship to study in vivo MR spectroscopy in pediatric patients with metabolic and neurometabolic conditions at Johns Hopkins (Stipendium Metabolicum 1999) and joined the laboratory of Dr. Hugo Moser dedicated to peroxisomal disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Following his research fellowship at Johns Hopkins he underwent residency training in Child Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). After completing residency in 2005 he joined the staff at MGH.

Now an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School he is extending his research into animal models of neurodegenerative disorders. His research focus is on the genetics of peroxisomal disorders, lipid metabolism, and spatial aspects of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. As director of the leukodystrophy clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital he sees patients with a variety of white matter disorders. He currently holds several NIH awards funding studies to analyze metabolic changes seen in the brain by MR measures and to determine the neurotoxicity of newly discovered atypical sphingolipids.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

My expertise lies in neurogenetics and translational neuroscience. The topic of my research is unraveling the disease mechanisms of monogenetic disorders affecting the nervous system. This allows my lab to explore the relationship of mutant genes to specific biochemical defects and their contribution to neurodegeneration. As director of the leukodystrophy service at MGH I see patients with a variety of neurogenetic disorders and am actively studying abnormal accumulation of lipids such as very long chain fatty acids and desoxysphingoid bases in both my clinic and my laboratory. My clinical research studies have defined disease progression in adrenoleukodystrophy, metachromatic leukodystrophy and Tay Sachs Disease. Recently we were able to show that levels of desoxysphingoid bases in mice and humans with an inherited form of neuropathy contribute to disease and can be lowered by supplementation with L-serine.

Eichler Lab

Neurology Research Investigator Profile


Eichler F, Tan WH, Shih VS et al. Proton MR Spectroscopy and Diffusion Weighted Imaging in Isolated Sulfite Oxidase Deficiency. Journal of Child Neurology 2006; 21:801-805.

Eichler FS, Ren JQ, Cossoy M, et al. Is microglial apoptosis an early pathogenic change in cerebral X-ALD? Annals of Neurology. 2008; 63(6):729-42.

Ratai E, Kok T, Wiggins C, Wiggins G, Grant E, Gagoski B, O'Neill G, Adalsteinsson E, Eichler FS. 7 Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in adult X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. Archives of Neurology. 2008; 65(11):1488-94.

Eichler F, Grodd W, Grant E, et al. Metachromatic Leukodystrophy: A Scoring System for Brain MR Observations. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2009; 30(10):1893-7.

Eichler FS, Hornemann T, McCampbell A, et al. Overexpression of the wild-type SPT1 subunit lowers desoxysphingolipids levels and rescues the phenotype of HSAN1. J Neurosci. 2009; 29(46):14646-51.

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News & Events

  • In General

    MGH Hotline 09.11.09 In General awards and honors


Neuromuscular Diagnostic Center
165 Cambridge Street
Suite 820
Boston MA, 02114
Phone: 617-724-6510
Fax: 617-726-2019

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