Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cerebral white matter degeneration with axonal spheroids leading to progressive cognitive and motor dysfunction. We report clinical and pathological features, as well as molecular genetic analysis, of a family with HDLS. A pedigree consisting of 27 persons in 5 generations contained 6 affected individuals. Dementia and depression were common; two individuals presented with a syndrome resembling corticobasal degeneration (CBD). Postmortem neuropathologic evaluation of three affected individuals revealed enlargement of the lateral ventricles and marked attenuation of cerebral white matter, but preservation of white matter in brainstem and cerebellum, except for the corticospinal tract. Histopathologic studies showed a loss of myelinated fibers, lipid-laden macrophages and bizarre astrocytes, as well as abundant axonal spheroids that were immunoreactive for phosphorylated neurofilament protein and amyloid precursor protein (APP), but not alphaB-crystallin and variably with ubiquitin. By electron microscopy, axonal spheroids contained aggregates of intermediate filaments or of organelles that were predominantly vesicular and lamellar. The cerebral cortex had focal neuronal degeneration with alphaB-crystallin-immunoreactive ballooned neurons. In summary, the present report describes a previously unreported kindred with HDLS with individuals presenting as CBD. Immunohistochemistry for APP and alphaB-crystallin demonstrates distinctive neurodegeneration in cerebral axons and perikarya.
"For instance, hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is associated with variable behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunction (Rademakers et al., 2011). Clinically, it is difficult to diagnose because it often presents with intra-familial heterogeneity and a firm diagnosis often occurs post-mortem (Baba et al., 2006). Pelizaeus–Merzbacher disease (PMD) is an X-linked hypomyelinating leukodystrophy, manifested as impaired motor development followed by ataxia, dystonia, dysarthria, and progressive spasticity (Vaurs-Barriere et al., 2009). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New advances in genomic technology are being introduced at a greater speed and are revolutionizing the field of genetics for both complex and Mendelian diseases. For instance, during the past few years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a large number of significant associations between genomic loci and movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. GWAS are carried out through the use of high-throughput SNP genotyping arrays, which are also used to perform linkage analyses in families previously considered statistically underpowered for genetic analyses. In inherited movement disorders, using this latter technology, it has repeatedly been shown that mutations in a single gene can lead to different phenotypes, while the same clinical entity can be caused by mutations in different genes. This is being highlighted with the use of next-generation sequencing technologies and leads to the search for genes or genetic modifiers that contribute to the phenotypic expression of movement disorders. Establishing an accurate genome-epigenome-phenotype relationship is becoming a major challenge in the post-genomic research that should be facilitated through the implementation of both functional and cellular analyses.
Frontiers in Genetics 05/2012; 3:75. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2012.00075
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant sensory ataxia (ADSA), a rare hereditary ataxia, is characterized by progressive dysfunction of central sensory pathways. Its pathological features have not been previously documented. We report a case of a 61-year-old man with ADSA who died of congestive heart failure. Autopsy specimens of brain, thoracolumbar spinal cord, peripheral nerve and skeletal muscle were examined. There was no abnormality on gross examination. Microscopically, there were occasional swollen axons within the cerebral cortex and deep nuclei, particularly the subthalamic nucleus, with no neuronal loss, gliosis or microglial activation. There were many axonal spheroids within the medulla, particularly in the dorsal column nuclei. Axonal spheroids were also seen in the dorsal columns and ventral horns in the thoracolumbar spinal cord, but there was no Wallerian degeneration or demyelination. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) immunostaining of some of the spheroids suggested continuing dysfunction of axoplasmic flow in some regions. There was mild inflammation of peripheral nerve roots but no spheroid, and patchy chronic inflammation of skeletal muscle. In summary, the major pathological process in ADSA is a neuroaxonal dystrophy most prominent in the dorsal columns and dorsal column nuclei, consistent with the clinical pattern of central sensory pathway degeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pigmented orthochromatic leukodystrophy and hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids are two adult onset leukodystrophies with neuroaxonal spheroids presenting with prominent neurobehavioral, cognitive and motor symptoms. These are familial or sporadic disorders characterized by cerebral white matter degeneration including myelin and axonal loss, gliosis, macrophages and axonal spheroids. We report clinical, neuroimaging and pathological correlations of four women ages 34-50 years with adult onset leukodystrophy. Their disease course ranged from 1.5-8 years. Three patients had progressive cognitive and behavioral changes; however, one had acute onset. Neuroimaging revealed white matter abnormalities characterized by symmetric, bilateral, T2 hyperintense and T1 hypointense Magnetic Resonance Imaging signal involving frontal lobe white matter in all patients. Extensive laboratory investigations were negative apart from abnormalities in some mitochondrial enzymes and immunologic parameters. Autopsies demonstrated severe leukodystrophy with myelin and axonal loss, axonal spheroids and macrophages with early and severe frontal white matter involvement. The extent and degree of changes outside the frontal lobe appeared to correlate with disease duration. The prominent neurobehavioral deficits and frontal white matter disease provide clinical-pathologic support for association pathways linking distributed neural circuits sub-serving cognition. These observations lend further support to the notion that white matter disease alone can account for dementia.
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