[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of corticosteroids on the lower extremity muscles in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) using MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: The purpose of this study was to measure and analyze motor unit number estimation (MUNE) values longitudinally in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Methods: Sixty-two children with SMA types 2 and 3 were observed prospectively for up to 42 months. Longitudinal electrophysiological data were collected, including compound motor action potential (CMAP), single motor unit action potential (SMUP), and MUNE. Results: Significant motor neuron loss and compensatory collateral reinnervation were noted at baseline. Over time, there was a significant mean increase in MUNE (4.92 units/year, P = 0.009), a mean decrease in SMUP amplitude (−6.32 μV/year, P = 0.10), and stable CMAP amplitude. Conclusions: The unexpected longitudinal results differ from findings in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis studies, perhaps indicating that compensatory processes in SMA involve new motor unit development. A better understanding of the mechanisms of motor unit decline and compensation in SMA is important for assessing novel therapeutic strategies and for providing key insights into disease pathophysiology. Muscle Nerve 49: 636–644, 2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dystroglycanopathies are a subtype of congenital muscular dystrophy of varying severity that can affect the brain and eyes, ranging from Walker-Warburg syndrome with severe brain malformation to milder congenital muscular dystrophy presentations with affected or normal cognition and later onset. Mutations in dystroglycanopathy genes affect a specific glycoepitope on α-dystroglycan; of the 14 genes implicated to date, LARGE encodes the glycosyltransferase that adds the final xylose and glucuronic acid, allowing α-dystroglycan to bind ligands, including laminin 211 and neurexin. Only 11 patients with LARGE mutations have been reported. We report the clinical, neuroimaging, and genetic features of 4 additional patients. We confirm that gross deletions and rearrangements are important mutational mechanisms for LARGE. The brain abnormalities overshadowed the initially mild muscle phenotype in all 4 patients. We present the first comprehensive postnatal neuropathology of the brain, spinal cord, and eyes of a patient with a homozygous LARGE mutation at Cys443. In this patient, polymicrogyria was the predominant cortical malformation; densely festooned polymicrogyria were overlaid by a continuous agyric surface. In view of the severity of these abnormalities, Cys443 may be a functionally important residue in the LARGE protein, whereas the mutation p.Glu509Lys of Patient 1 in this study may confer a milder phenotype. Overall, these results expand the clinical and genetic spectrum of dystroglycanopathy.
Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology. 04/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is tremendous potential for genome sequencing to improve clinical diagnosis and care once it becomes routinely accessible, but this will require formalizing research methods into clinical best practices in the areas of sequence data generation, analysis, interpretation and reporting. The CLARITY Challenge was designed to spur convergence in methods for diagnosing genetic disease starting from clinical case history and genome sequencing data. DNA samples were obtained from three families with heritable genetic disorders and genomic sequence data was donated by sequencing platform vendors. The challenge was to analyze and interpret these data with the goals of identifying disease causing variants and reporting the findings in a clinically useful format. Participating contestant groups were solicited broadly, and an independent panel of judges evaluated their performance.
A total of 30 international groups were engaged. The entries reveal a general convergence of practices on most elements of the analysis and interpretation process. However, even given this commonality of approach, only two groups identified the consensus candidate variants in all disease cases, demonstrating a need for consistent fine-tuning of the generally accepted methods. There was greater diversity of the final clinical report content and in the patient consenting process, demonstrating that these areas require additional exploration and standardization.
The CLARITY Challenge provides a comprehensive assessment of current practices for using genome sequencing to diagnose and report genetic diseases. There is remarkable convergence in bioinformatic techniques, but medical interpretation and reporting are areas that require further development by many groups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disorder that results in functional deficits. However, these functional declines are often not able to be quantified in clinical trials for DMD until after age 7. In this study, we hypothesized that 1H2O T2 derived using 1H-MRS and MRI-T2 will be sensitive to muscle involvement at a young age (5-7 years) consistent with increased inflammation and muscle damage in a large cohort of DMD subjects compared to controls.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e106435. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive multisystem disorder featuring cerebellar ataxia, early-onset cataracts, chronic myopathy, variable intellectual disability and delayed motor development. More recently, mutations in the SIL1 gene, which encodes an endoplasmic reticulum resident co-chaperone, were identified as the main cause of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome. Here we describe the results of SIL1 mutation analysis in 62 patients presenting with early-onset ataxia, cataracts and myopathy or combinations of at least two of these. We obtained a mutation detection rate of 60% (15/25) among patients with the characteristic Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome triad (ataxia, cataracts, myopathy) whereas the detection rate in the group of patients with more variable phenotypic presentation was below 3% (1/37). We report 16 unrelated families with a total of 19 different SIL1 mutations. Among these mutations are 15 previously unreported changes, including single- and multi-exon deletions. Based on data from our screening cohort and data compiled from the literature we found that SIL1 mutations are invariably associated with the combination of a cerebellar syndrome and chronic myopathy. Cataracts were observed in all patients beyond the age of 7 years, but might be missing in infants. Six patients with SIL1 mutations had no intellectual disability, extending the known wide range of cognitive capabilities in Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome to include normal intelligence. Modestly constant features were somatic growth retardation, skeletal abnormalities and pyramidal tract signs. Examination of mutant SIL1 expression in cultured patient lymphoblasts suggested that SIL1 mutations result in severely reduced SIL1 protein levels irrespective of the type and position of mutations. Our data broaden the SIL1 mutation spectrum and confirm that SIL1 is the major Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome gene. SIL1 patients usually present with the characteristic triad but cataracts might be missing in young children. As cognitive impairment is not obligatory, patients without intellectual disability but a Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome-compatible phenotype should receive SIL1 mutation analysis. Despite allelic heterogeneity and many families with private mutations, the phenotype related to SIL1 mutations is relatively homogenous. Based on SIL1 expression studies we speculate that this may arise from a uniform effect of different mutations on protein expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long-term studies of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease across the entire lifespan require stable endpoints that measure the same underlying construct (e.g., disability). The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between the CMT Pediatric Scale (CMTPedS) and the adult CMT Neuropathy Score (CMTNSv2) in 203 children, adolescents, and young adults with CMT. There was a moderate curvilinear correlation between the CMTPedS and the CMTNSv2 (Spearman's rho ρ = 0.716, p < 0.0001), although there appears to be a floor effect of the CMTNSv2 in patients with a milder CMT phenotype. Univariate analyses indicate that the relationship between the CMTPedS and CMTNSv2 scores improves with worsening disease severity and advancing age. Although one universal scale throughout life would be ideal, our data supports the transition from the CMTPedS in childhood to the CMTNSv2 in adulthood as a continuum of measuring lifelong disability in patients with CMT.
Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System 06/2013; 18(2):177-80. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To report a series of 11 patients on the severe end of the spectrum of ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) gene-related myopathy, in order to expand the clinical, histologic, and genetic heterogeneity associated with this group of patients. METHODS: Eleven patients evaluated in the neonatal period with severe neonatal-onset RYR1-associated myopathy confirmed by genetic testing were ascertained. Clinical features, molecular testing results, muscle imaging, and muscle histology are reviewed. RESULTS: Clinical features associated with the severe neonatal presentation of RYR1-associated myopathy included decreased fetal movement, hypotonia, poor feeding, respiratory involvement, arthrogryposis, and ophthalmoplegia in 3 patients, and femur fractures or hip dislocation at birth. Four patients had dominant RYR1 mutations, and 7 had recessive RYR1 mutations. One patient had a cleft palate, and another a congenital rigid spine phenotype-findings not previously described in the literature in patients with early-onset RYR1 mutations. Six patients who underwent muscle ultrasound showed relative sparing of the rectus femoris muscle. Histologically, all patients with dominant mutations had classic central cores on muscle biopsy. Patients with recessive mutations showed great histologic heterogeneity, including fibrosis, variation in fiber size, skewed fiber typing, very small fibers, and nuclear internalization with or without ill-defined cores. CONCLUSIONS: This series confirms and expands the clinical and histologic variability associated with severe congenital RYR1-associated myopathy. Both dominant and recessive mutations of the RYR1 gene can result in a severe neonatal-onset phenotype, but more clinical and histologic heterogeneity has been seen in those with recessive RYR1 gene mutations. Central cores are not obligatory histologic features in recessive RYR1 mutations. Sparing of the rectus femoris muscle on imaging should prompt evaluation for RYR1-associated myopathy in the appropriate clinical context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common lethal recessive disease in childhood, and there is currently no effective treatment to halt disease progression. The translation of scientific advances into effective therapies is hampered by major roadblocks in clinical trials, including the complex regulatory environment in Europe, variations in standards of care, patient ascertainment and enrolment, a narrow therapeutic window and a lack of biomarkers of efficacy. In this context, SMA-Europe organized its first international workshop in July 2012 in Rome, gathering 34 scientists, clinicians and representatives of patient organizations to establish recommendations for improving clinical trials for SMAa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Of 151 youth with type 1 diabetes who were screened for peripheral neuropathy, and received nerve conduction studies, 11% were diagnosed with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). DPN can occur in young children, with short diabetes duration, and good diabetes control. National guidelines for screening children for DPN should be developed.
Diabetes research and clinical practice 02/2013; · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) presents challenges in (i) monitoring disease activity and predicting progression, (ii) designing trials that allow rapid assessment of candidate therapies, and (iii) understanding molecular causes and consequences of the disease. Validated biomarkers of SMA motor and non-motor function would offer utility in addressing these challenges. Our objectives were (i) to discover additional markers from the Biomarkers for SMA (BforSMA) study using an immunoassay platform, and (ii) to validate the putative biomarkers in an independent cohort of SMA patients collected from a multi-site natural history study (NHS).
BforSMA study plasma samples (N = 129) were analyzed by immunoassay to identify new analytes correlating to SMA motor function. These immunoassays included the strongest candidate biomarkers identified previously by chromatography. We selected 35 biomarkers to validate in an independent cohort SMA type 1, 2, and 3 samples (N = 158) from an SMA NHS. The putative biomarkers were tested for association to multiple motor scales and to pulmonary function, neurophysiology, strength, and quality of life measures. We implemented a Tobit model to predict SMA motor function scores.
12 of the 35 putative SMA biomarkers were significantly associated (p<0.05) with motor function, with a 13(th) analyte being nearly significant. Several other analytes associated with non-motor SMA outcome measures. From these 35 biomarkers, 27 analytes were selected for inclusion in a commercial panel (SMA-MAP) for association with motor and other functional measures.
Discovery and validation using independent cohorts yielded a set of SMA biomarkers significantly associated with motor function and other measures of SMA disease activity. A commercial SMA-MAP biomarker panel was generated for further testing in other SMA collections and interventional trials. Future work includes evaluating the panel in other neuromuscular diseases, for pharmacodynamic responsiveness to experimental SMA therapies, and for predicting functional changes over time in SMA patients.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60113. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 13% of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have a nonsense mutation in the dystrophin gene, resulting in a premature stop codon in the corresponding mRNA and failure to generate a functional protein. Ataluren (PTC124) enables ribosomal readthrough of premature stop codons, leading to production of full-length, functional proteins.
This Phase 2a open-label, sequential dose-ranging trial recruited 38 boys with nonsense mutation DMD. The first cohort (n = 6) received ataluren three times per day at morning, midday, and evening doses of 4, 4, and 8 mg/kg; the second cohort (n = 20) was dosed at 10, 10, 20 mg/kg; and the third cohort (n = 12) was dosed at 20, 20, 40 mg/kg. Treatment duration was 28 days. Change in full-length dystrophin expression, as assessed by immunostaining in pre- and post-treatment muscle biopsy specimens, was the primary endpoint.
Twenty three of 38 (61%) subjects demonstrated increases in post-treatment dystrophin expression in a quantitative analysis assessing the ratio of dystrophin/spectrin. A qualitative analysis also showed positive changes in dystrophin expression. Expression was not associated with nonsense mutation type or exon location. Ataluren trough plasma concentrations active in the mdx mouse model were consistently achieved at the mid- and high- dose levels in participants. Ataluren was generally well tolerated.
Ataluren showed activity and safety in this short-term study, supporting evaluation of ataluren 10, 10, 20 mg/kg and 20, 20, 40 mg/kg in a Phase 2b, double-blind, long-term study in nonsense mutation DMD.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e81302. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) displays a clinical range that is not fully explained by the primary DMD mutations. Ltbp4, encoding latent transforming growth factor-β binding protein 4, was previously discovered in a genome-wide scan as a modifier of murine muscular dystrophy. We sought to determine whether LTBP4 genotype influenced DMD severity in a large patient cohort. METHODS: We analyzed nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from human LTBP4 in 254 nonambulatory subjects with known DMD mutations. These SNPs, V194I, T787A, T820A, and T1140M, form the VTTT and IAAM LTBP4 haplotypes. RESULTS: Individuals homozygous for the IAAM LTBP4 haplotype remained ambulatory significantly longer than those heterozygous or homozygous for the VTTT haplotype. Glucocorticoid-treated patients who were IAAM homozygotes lost ambulation at 12.5 ± 3.3 years compared to 10.7 ± 2.1 years for treated VTTT heterozygotes or homozygotes. IAAM fibroblasts exposed to transforming growth factor (TGF) β displayed reduced phospho-SMAD signaling compared to VTTT fibroblasts, consistent with LTBP4' role as a regulator of TGFβ. INTERPRETATION: LTBP4 haplotype influences age at loss of ambulation, and should be considered in the management of DMD patients. ANN NEUROL 2013.
Annals of Neurology 11/2012; · 11.19 Impact Factor