The pathogenesis of CADASIL: an update.

Institute for Ageing and Health, School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 6 BE, UK.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.26). 11/2004; 226(1-2):35-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2004.09.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) appears to be the most common form of hereditary stroke disorder. CADASIL is associated with arterial smooth muscle degeneration linked to mutations in the Notch3 gene, whose product is a transmembrane receptor that functions in cell-cell communication. The pathogenesis of CADASIL remains unclear. Current research efforts are directed towards the elucidation of various features of the disorder including investigations on CADASIL-like disorders, early cognitive changes, specificity of neuroimaging for diagnosis, discovery of de novo mutations, the development of Notch3 transgenic mouse models and molecular cellular studies in Notch3 signaling. The genetics of cerebrovascular disorders (CVD) was virtually unknown until recently. Genetic associations may have been evaded because of widely variable phenotypes, even within monogenic disorders such as CADASIL. Several investigators have attempted genotype-phenotype correlation in CADASIL cases but the relationship between genetic alterations and overt manifestation of phenotype remains elusive. However, the elucidation of the genetics and pathogenesis of CADASIL have been important in further understanding of the primary vascular mechanisms that lead to ischemic blood flow and its consequences on neuronal survival. This report summarizes some of the highlights of the satellite symposium on CADASIL at Vas-Cog 2003.

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    ABSTRACT: Clinical presentation of CADASIL patients is variable due to the impact of other vascular risk factors and the type of a NOTCH3 mutation. This variability may impede the diagnosis of the disease. We report a comprehensive evaluation of several individuals in the CADASIL family whose member was identified to have the new mutation of NOTCH3 receptor on exon 6 (p. G296C). We performed genetic testing, clinical and neuropsychological examination, cerebral MRI, Doppler sonography of cerebral arteries, fundoscopic examination and fluorescent angiography in six family members to determine the corresponding clinical spectrum associated with the new mutation. Results and Conclusion. The CADASIL mutation was detected in four individuals. Three of them were symptomatic, two having a history of stroke and one suffering from migraine. Although individuals had heterogeneous findings, the common feature included vascular changes that were present on cerebral and/or retinal arteries in all the mutation carriers even in one subject without clinical manifestation of the disease.
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