Laura Doria Lamba

Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Liguria, Italy

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Publications (9)25.27 Total impact

  • European Neurology 02/2009; 61(4):240-3. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thalidomide was recently reintroduced to treat several immune-mediated pathologies. Peripheral neuropathy is a significant side effect limiting its clinical use. Our aims include: (1) describing and identifying the incidence of clinical or electrophysiologic peripheral neuropathy in children, (2) determining whether peripheral neuropathy correlates with cumulative dose of thalidomide and with age, and (3) defining its reversibility rate. We studied 13 children manifesting immune-mediated pathologies treated with thalidomide at doses ranging from 25-100 mg/day. Clinical and neurophysiologic evaluation was performed before and after starting treatment. Seven children (53.8%) showed neurophysiologic signs of sensory peripheral axonal polyneuropathy. Five presented associated clinical symptoms, while the other two only presented subclinical, neurophysiologic signs of peripheral neuropathy. We found a significant correlation between the incidence of peripheral neuropathy and thalidomide cumulative dose (P = 0.02). We observed a lower incidence of peripheral neuropathy at a cumulative dose <20 gm, and a correlation with age (P < 0.01). The clinical and electrophysiologic recovery rate was 40%, and clinical improvement alone was observed in another 40%. Thalidomide induces dose-dependent and age-dependent peripheral neuropathy at a significant frequency in childhood (53.8%). In our experience a cumulative dosage at >20 gm and long-term administration for >10 months seem to increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy. We propose clinical and neurophysiologic follow-up every 3 months to identify and monitor possible side effects.
    Pediatric Neurology 03/2008; 38(3):196-9. · 1.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To define the clinical and laboratory findings in a novel autosomal recessive white matter disorder called hypomyelination and congenital cataract, recently found to be caused by a deficiency of a membrane protein, hyccin, encoded by the DRCTNNB1A gene located on chromosome 7p21.3-p15.3. We performed neurological examination, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, and neuropathological studies on sural nerve biopsy in 10 hypomyelination and congenital cataract patients from 5 unrelated families. The clinical picture was characterized by bilateral congenital cataract, developmental delay, and slowly progressive neurological impairment with spasticity, cerebellar ataxia, and mild-to-moderate mental retardation. Neurophysiological studies showed a slightly to markedly slowed motor nerve conduction velocity in 9 of 10 patients, and multimodal evoked potentials indicated increased central conduction times. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated a diffuse supratentorial hypomyelination, with in some patients, additional areas of more prominent signal change in the frontal region. Sural nerve biopsy showed a slight-to-severe reduction in myelinated fiber density, with several axons surrounded by a thin myelin sheath or devoid of myelin. Hypomyelination and congenital cataract is a novel autosomal recessive white matter disorder characterized by the unique association of congenital cataract and hypomyelination of the central and peripheral nervous system.
    Annals of Neurology 09/2007; 62(2):121-7. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperekplexia (OMIM 149400) is an uncommon neurologic disorder characterized by exaggerated response to sensitive stimuli. It may be sporadic or familial. The disease is usually caused by mutations in the inhibitory glycine receptor alpha1-subunit. The authors report a male patient who is affected by the major form of familial hyperekplexia. He is currently 5 years old and is being successfully treated with clonazepam. Prenatal diagnosis was made owing to prior identification of point mutation K276E in his affected mother. Early diagnosis avoided complex and prolonged differential diagnostic procedures and allowed for early and effective intervention on severe neonatal symptoms: hypertonia, episodes of cyanosis, apneic spells, and massive myoclonic jerks. During his first year of life, the patient was treated with cycles of phenobarbital and diazepam and achieved partial clinical response. Subsequent therapy with low-dose clonazepam was highly effective in reducing myoclonic jerks and exaggerated startle reaction, and unlike previously used drugs, it was decisive in reducing hypertonia.
    Journal of Child Neurology 07/2007; 22(6):769-72. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an immune-mediated inflammatory demyelinating encephalomyelitis with often monosymptomatic abrupt onset, followed by multifocal neurologic symptomatology depending on lesion-site. Diagnosis is made on the basis of characteristic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal alterations. ADEM is sensitive to steroid therapy, immunoglobulins and plasmapheresis, presents usually a monophasic course and disappears completely after 2 or 3 weeks. Resolution of MRI lesions appears usually within 6 months of presentation. We report on a 14-year-old male, admitted to our Emergency Unit because of fever and acute urinary retention with a normal neurological examination. Urinary tract ultrasonography and mictional cystography were normal; electrophysiology showed a mild involvement of the peripheral nervous system and brain and spine MRI revealed disseminated areas of increased signal on T2-weighted sequences suggestive of ADEM. Steroid therapy brought about clinical recovery in a few days. Resolution of lesions on MRI after 4 months and absence of relapses during four-year clinical follow-up confirmed definitive diagnosis. Our case is interesting because, to our knowledge, this is the first literature report with acute urinary retention as predominant symptom in monosymptomatic forms. Another peculiar feature is the absence of associated neurologic symptomatology despite MRI evidence of important brain and spine alterations.
    Minerva pediatrica 07/2006; 58(3):305-9. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stuve-Wiedemann syndrome (SWS) is a multiple congenital anomalies syndrome mostly considered to have an early lethality. Only few patients have been reported with long survival; therefore, the clinical phenotype with age has not yet been clearly characterized. We report on two patients with SWS aged 12 and 3 years who have both the osteodysplastic symptoms of the entity as well as autonomic nervous system symptoms resembling familial dysautonomia: lack of corneal reflex and neuropathic keratitis, absence of fungiform papillae, ulcerations of the tongue, paradoxical sweating at low temperature, patellar hyporeflexia, and progressive scoliosis. The clinical and radiological similarities between patients with SWS and patients with Schwartz-Jampel syndrome have led to the suggestion that these two syndromes are a single entity. SWS and Schwartz-Jampel syndrome type II are now indeed considered to be identical, but the radiographic phenotype of SWS long survivors such as the presently reported patients justifies the distinction between SWS and the classical type of Schwartz-Jampel syndrome. An increased number of lipid droplets in muscle fibers and decreased muscle mitochondrial enzyme activities have been found in one patient, confirming a previously reported association between SWS and respiratory chain abnormalities.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 06/2003; 118A(4):362-8. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report a 16-month-old boy with psychomotor regression, muscle hypotonia, peripheral neuropathy, and lactic acidosis. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed a bilateral abnormal signal in the substantia nigra and in the subthalamic nucleus, suggestive of Leigh disease. Histochemical analysis of skeletal muscle showed decreased cytochrome-c oxidase activity. Biochemical analysis of respiratory chain enzymes in muscle homogenate and in cultured fibroblasts showed isolated cytochrome-c oxidase deficiency. Western blot analysis in fibroblasts showed the absence of Surf1 protein. Genetic analysis of the SURF1 gene revealed that the patient was compound heterozygous for a previously reported mutation at the splice-junction site of intron 3 (240 + 1G > T), and for a novel 4-bp deletion in exon 6 (531_534delAAAT). Our data further enlarge the spectrum of mutations in SURF1 gene in patients with Leigh disease and cytochrome-c oxidase deficiency, contributing to better characterization of the clinical and neuroradiologic features of this group of patients for genotype-phenotype correlations.
    Journal of Child Neurology 03/2002; 17(3):233-6. · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a child with severe psychomotor retardation, peripheral neuropathy and bilateral abnormal signal in basal ganglia on magnetic resonance imaging, consistent with Leigh disease. Fibroblast pyruvate dehydrogenase assayed with routine method was normal. However, because of neurological improvement after treatment with thiamine, pyruvate dehydrogenase activity was studied again with thiamine pyrophosphate concentration adjusted to the normal human tissue level and found to be deficient. We report here on diagnostic difficulties and clinical follow-up of this patient.
    European Journal of Paediatric Neurology 02/2000; 4(3):115-7. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified a novel missense mutation in the gene for glycogen branching enzyme (GBE 1) in a 16-month-old infant with a combination of hepatic and muscular features, an atypical clinical presentation of glycogenosis type IV (GSD IV). The patient was heterozygous for a G-to-A substitution at codon 524 (R524Q), changing an encoded arginine (CGA) to glutamine (CAA), while the GBE1 gene on the other allele was not expressed. This case broadens the spectrum of mutations in patients with GSD IV and confirms the clinical and molecular heterogeneity of this disease.
    Neuromuscular Disorders 11/1999; 9(6-7):403-7. · 3.46 Impact Factor