A clinical rating scale for Batten disease - Reliable and relevant for clinical trials
ABSTRACT Batten disease (juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis [JNCL]) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by blindness, seizures, and relentless decline in cognitive, motor, and behavioral function. Onset is in the early school years, with progression to death typically by late adolescence. Development of a clinical instrument to quantify severity of illness is a prerequisite to eventual assessment of experimental therapeutic interventions.
To develop a clinical rating instrument to assess motor, behavioral, and functional capability in JNCL.
A clinical rating instrument, the Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS), was developed by the authors to assess motor, behavioral, and functional capability in JNCL. Children with verified JNCL were evaluated independently by three neurologists. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to estimate the interrater reliability for total scores in each domain. Interrater reliability for scale items was assessed with weighted kappa statistics.
Thirty-one children with confirmed JNCL (10 boys, 21 girls) were evaluated. The mean age at symptom onset was 6.1 +/- 1.6 years, and the mean duration of illness was 9.0 +/- 4.4 years. The ICCs for the domains were as follows: motor = 0.83, behavioral = 0.68, and functional capability = 0.85.
The Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS) is a reliable instrument that effectively tests for neurologic function in blind and demented patients. In its current form, the UBDRS is useful for monitoring the diverse clinical findings seen in Batten disease.
- SourceAvailable from: Elisabeth A De Blieck[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL; CLN3 disease; Batten disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease of childhood. Symptoms typically present at school age with vision loss followed by progressive cognitive decline, motor dysfunction, seizures, and behavior problems. Studies on sex differences in JNCL have yielded mixed results, but parent anecdotes suggest that females experience a more precipitous disease course. Therefore, we sought to determine if sex-based differences exist in JNCL. We used data from the Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS), the Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) database, and the PedsQL quality of life (QoL) survey to evaluate sex-based differences in functional independence and time from symptom onset to death. On average, females had JNCL symptom onset one year later and death one year earlier than did males. Despite a later age at onset, females had lower functional capability, earlier loss of independent function, and lower physical QoL. Future research in sex differences in JNCL may help to further understand the biological mechanisms underpinning the disease course and may point to targeted therapies.Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 12/2011; 35(3):549-55. DOI:10.1007/s10545-011-9421-6 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL; CLN3 disease; Batten disease) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease of childhood that typically presents at school age with vision loss followed by progressive cognitive decline, motor dysfunction, seizures, and behavior problems. No therapy has been shown to slow the progression of disease in JNCL patients, and all current treatments are symptomatic. Flupirtine has been shown in vitro to reduce apoptosis in CLN3 lymphocytes. Based on that preclinical study, several children with JNCL were given flupirtine by their parents. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was evidence of attenuated disease progression in any JNCL symptom domain. We administered a survey to parents of JNCL children to qualitatively assess flupirtine efficacy. We used the Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS) to determine specific aspects of disease progression and investigated three age-related factors: loss of independent ambulation, loss of intelligible speech, and loss of ability to perform independent activities of daily living. The median scores for the UBDRS physical, behavior, and capability subscales were determined in flupirtine-exposed subjects and compared to age-, sex-, and genotype-matched subjects who had never taken flupirtine. Twenty-one percent of survey responders reported administering flupirtine to their JNCL child, and 56% of these families perceived beneficial changes that they attributed to flupirtine. However, our quantitative, prospectively obtained data did not show any change in JNCL disease progression that could be attributed to flupirtine. This study highlights the need for prospective experimental therapeutic research.Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 05/2011; 34(5):1075-81. DOI:10.1007/s10545-011-9346-0 · 4.14 Impact Factor