Hereditary cerebral small vessel diseases: A review.
ABSTRACT Cerebral microangiopathies are responsible of a great number of strokes. In the recent years advances in molecular genetics identified several monogenic conditions involving cerebral small vessels and predisposing to ischemic and/or hemorrhagic stroke and diffuse white matter disease leading to vascular dementia. Clinical features and diagnostic clues of these conditions, [cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), cerebral autosomal recessive arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CARASIL), COL4A1-related cerebral small vessel diseases, autosomal dominant retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukodystrophy (AD-RVLC), and Fabry's disease] are here reviewed. Albeit with variable phenotypes and with different defective genes, all these disorders produce arteriopathy and microvascular disintegration with changes in brain functions. Specific diagnostic tools are recommended, genetic analysis being the gold standard for the diagnosis.
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ABSTRACT: Accurate and timely diagnosis of dementia is important to guide management and provide appropriate information and support to patients and families. Currently, with the exception of individuals with genetic mutations, postmortem examination of brain tissue remains the only definitive means of establishing diagnosis in most cases, however, structural neuroimaging, in combination with clinical assessment, has value in improving diagnostic accuracy during life. Beyond the exclusion of surgical pathology, signal change and cerebral atrophy visible on structural MRI can be used to identify diagnostically relevant imaging features, which provide support for clinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative dementias. While no structural imaging feature has perfect sensitivity and specificity for a given diagnosis, there are a number of imaging characteristics which provide positive predictive value and help to narrow the differential diagnosis. While neuroradiological expertise is invaluable in accurate scan interpretation, there is much that a non-radiologist can gain from a focused and structured approach to scan analysis. In this article we describe the characteristic MRI findings of the various dementias and provide a structured algorithm with the aim of providing clinicians with a practical guide to assessing scans.Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 10/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Most of causative mutations of the cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) are missense point mutations either creating or deleting one cysteine residue, inherited in a heterozygous state. Only few homozygous patients are reported to date and some of them showed phenotypic peculiarities. We here describe a CADASIL family in which a member showed homozygous mutation and compare its clinical profile with five subjects throughout three generation of the pedigree, carrying the same mutation in heterozygosity. The index patient was a 44-year-old Italian man, born from consanguineous parents (first cousins). Symptoms started at 23 years and progressing with recurrent ischemic stroke episode. Diffuse leukoencephalopathy and a severe cognitive impairment were evident, GOMs were detected in skin specimens and a homozygous p.Cys183Ser mutation of the NOTCH3 gene was found. Among the other five heterozygous relatives for the same mutation, both parents developed stroke in advanced age and all the others were clinically asymptomatic. We discuss these findings in relationship to previous data from the literature in CADASIL and in other dominant neurological disorders.Neurological Sciences 11/2013; · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background We observed a syndrome of intermittent fevers, early-onset lacunar strokes and other neurovascular manifestations, livedoid rash, hepatosplenomegaly, and systemic vasculopathy in three unrelated patients. We suspected a genetic cause because the disorder presented in early childhood. Methods We performed whole-exome sequencing in the initial three patients and their unaffected parents and candidate-gene sequencing in three patients with a similar phenotype, as well as two young siblings with polyarteritis nodosa and one patient with small-vessel vasculitis. Enzyme assays, immunoblotting, immunohistochemical testing, flow cytometry, and cytokine profiling were performed on samples from the patients. To study protein function, we used morpholino-mediated knockdowns in zebrafish and short hairpin RNA knockdowns in U937 cells cultured with human dermal endothelial cells. Results All nine patients carried recessively inherited mutations in CECR1 (cat eye syndrome chromosome region, candidate 1), encoding adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2), that were predicted to be deleterious; these mutations were rare or absent in healthy controls. Six patients were compound heterozygous for eight CECR1 mutations, whereas the three patients with polyarteritis nodosa or small-vessel vasculitis were homozygous for the p.Gly47Arg mutation. Patients had a marked reduction in the levels of ADA2 and ADA2-specific enzyme activity in the blood. Skin, liver, and brain biopsies revealed vasculopathic changes characterized by compromised endothelial integrity, endothelial cellular activation, and inflammation. Knockdown of a zebrafish ADA2 homologue caused intracranial hemorrhages and neutropenia - phenotypes that were prevented by coinjection with nonmutated (but not with mutated) human CECR1. Monocytes from patients induced damage in cocultured endothelial-cell layers. Conclusions Loss-of-function mutations in CECR1 were associated with a spectrum of vascular and inflammatory phenotypes, ranging from early-onset recurrent stroke to systemic vasculopathy or vasculitis. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health Intramural Research Programs and others.).New England Journal of Medicine 02/2014; · 51.66 Impact Factor