Congenital myasthenic syndromes in 2012.

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports (Impact Factor: 3.67). 02/2012; 12(1):92-101. DOI: 10.1007/s11910-011-0234-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) represent a heterogeneous group of disorders in which the safety margin of neuromuscular transmission is compromised by one or more specific mechanisms. Clinical, electrophysiologic, and morphologic studies have paved the way for detecting CMS-related mutations in proteins residing in the nerve terminal, the synaptic basal lamina, or in the postsynaptic region of the motor endplate. The disease proteins identified to date include the acetylcholine receptor, acetylcholinesterase, choline acetyltransferase, rapsyn, and Na(v)1.4, muscle-specific kinase, agrin, β2-laminin, downstream of tyrosine kinase 7, and glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate transaminase 1. Analysis of electrophysiologic and biochemical properties of mutant proteins expressed in heterologous systems have contributed crucially to defining the molecular consequences of the observed mutations and have resulted in improved therapy of most CMS.

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    ABSTRACT: Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) result from the failure to achieve muscle depolarisation due to disorders in the structure and/or function of the neuromuscular synapse. Mutations of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) form a major subset of CMS. We describe a patient who presented with recurrent apnoeic crises in the neonatal period requiring ventilator support. Electromyography revealed compound muscle action potential decrement upon repetitive stimulation. Sequencing of nAChR subunit genes revealed two missense mutations. One previously reported null mutation p.εTyr15His, and a second novel missense mutation, p.εThr38Lys, that is well expressed in mammalian cell culture and thus likely to exert its effect via alteration of ion channel kinetics. Functional analysis revealed abbreviated ion channel bursts characteristic of a fast channel CMS. The mutation p.εThr38Lys occurs at the interface between the α and ε subunits of the nAChR pentamer and leads to instability of the open channel. The effects of this mutation on channel function were investigated in relation to other fast channel mutants at an analogous subunit interface within the nAChR pentamer. Fast channel syndromes are frequently characterised by severe myasthenic weakness with apnoeic crises; knowledge of the underlying mutation and its functional consequences can be vital for appropriate therapy and patient management.
    Neuromuscular Disorders 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.nmd.2013.10.009 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myasthenia is a condition in which neuromuscular transmission is affected by antibodies against neuromuscular junction components (autoimmune myasthenia gravis, MG; and neonatal myasthenia gravis, NMG) or by defects in genes for neuromuscular junction proteins (congenital myasthenic syndromes, CMSs). Clinically, some individuals seem to benefit from treatment with ephedrine, but its effects and adverse effects have not been systematically evaluated. To assess the effects and adverse effects of ephedrine in people with autoimmune MG, transient neonatal MG, and the congenital myasthenic syndromes. On 17 November 2014, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE. We also searched reference lists of articles, conference proceedings of relevant conferences, and prospective trial registers. In addition, we contacted manufacturers and researchers in the field. We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing ephedrine as a single or add-on treatment with any other active treatment, placebo, or no treatment in adults or children with autoimmune MG, NMG, or CMSs. Two review authors independently assessed study design and quality, and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. We collected information on adverse effects from included articles, and contacted authors. We found no RCTs or quasi-RCTs, and therefore could not establish the effect of ephedrine on MG, NMG and CMSs. We describe the results of 53 non-randomised studies narratively in the Discussion section, including observations of endurance, muscle strength and quality of life. Effects may differ depending on the type of myasthenia. Thirty-seven studies were in participants with CMS, five in participants with MG, and in 11 the precise form of myasthenia was unknown. We found no studies for NMG. Reported adverse effects included tachycardia, sleep disturbances, nervousness, and withdrawal symptoms. There was no evidence available from RCTs or quasi-RCTs, but some observations from non-randomised studies are available. There is a need for more evidence from suitable forms of prospective RCTs, such as series of n-of-one RCTs, that use appropriate and validated outcome measures.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2014; 12(12):CD010028. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD010028.pub2 · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The clinical presentation of congenital myasthenic syndromes is similar to many other neuromuscular disorders of infancy, and with 12 known discrete genetic forms of congenital myasthenic syndromes, both the diagnosis and treatment decisions present clinical challenges. PATIENT DESCRIPTION: We report a 20-month-old boy with rapsyn deficiency. At birth, he presented with a weak cry, hypotonia, joint contractures, and facial deformity. Because of respiratory difficulty associated with muscle fatigue, he spent a total of 71 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and 47 days in the pediatric intensive care unit. Imaging study results were normal, along with a battery of metabolic tests and electrodiagnostic studies. A limited genetic evaluation for reversible cytochrome c oxidase deficiency was negative, as was the oligonucleotide microarray. A muscle biopsy demonstrated myofiber atrophy in a pattern consistent with early denervation. Based on nonspecific and nondiagnostic results, whole-exome (next generation) sequencing was performed. This study identified two confirmed pathogenic mutations in the RAPSN gene that are associated with congenital myasthenic syndrome (OMIM 608931). The patient was treated with pyridostigmine at 16 months of age, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in muscle tone and strength and a steady resolution of joint contractures. Four months after treatment was initiated, he was beginning to bear weight and was able to sit unsupported and vocalize full words. CONCLUSIONS: This patient serves to highlight next-generation sequencing as an important diagnostic tool that can result in life-saving treatment.
    Pediatric Neurology 08/2014; 51(5). DOI:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2014.07.032 · 1.50 Impact Factor