Susan T Iannaccone

University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, United States

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Publications (132)678.49 Total impact

  • Elena Caron · Dennis Burns · Diana Castro · Susan T Iannaccone
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    ABSTRACT: The classic phenotype of Friedreich ataxia is characterized by dysarthria, progressive limb and trunk ataxia, loss of reflexes, and gait disturbance with the onset of disease before the second decade. Homozygous trinucleotide repeat expansion of GAA in the FXN gene is found in 98% of patients. Two-5% of all patients have a repeat expansion on one allele and a point mutation on the other allele. Atypical phenotype is found in 25% of patients. A 10-year-old boy presented with congenital biliary atresia and progressive gait abnormality. His examination was significant for spastic gait, hyperreflexia, and sensory neuropathy. Genetic testing revealed a compound heterozygous mutation in the FXN gene. The absence of dysarthria and ataxia, retention of reflexes, absence of diabetes, and variable development of cardiomyopathy support a slow progression of disease with compound heterozygous mutation at G130V. Missense mutations are rare causes of Friedreich ataxia that can only be detected by sequencing of the FXN gene. Sequencing of the FXN gene is essential to make an early diagnosis when there is an atypical phenotype.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of clinical neuromuscular disease
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    ABSTRACT: To delineate optimal diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD) through a systematic review and analysis of the currently available literature. Relevant, peer-reviewed research articles were identified using a literature search of the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus databases. Diagnostic and therapeutic data from these articles were extracted and analyzed in accordance with the American Academy of Neurology classification of evidence schemes for diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic studies. Recommendations were linked to the strength of the evidence, other related literature, and general principles of care. The geographic and ethnic backgrounds, clinical features, brain imaging studies, muscle imaging studies, and muscle biopsies of children with suspected CMD help predict subtype-specific diagnoses. Genetic testing can confirm some subtype-specific diagnoses, but not all causative genes for CMD have been described. Seizures and respiratory complications occur in specific subtypes. There is insufficient evidence to determine the efficacy of various treatment interventions to optimize respiratory, orthopedic, and nutritional outcomes, and more data are needed regarding complications. Multidisciplinary care by experienced teams is important for diagnosing and promoting the health of children with CMD. Accurate assessment of clinical presentations and genetic data will help in identifying the correct subtype-specific diagnosis in many cases. Multiorgan system complications occur frequently; surveillance and prompt interventions are likely to be beneficial for affected children. More research is needed to fill gaps in knowledge regarding this category of muscular dystrophies. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Neurology

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Neurology
  • Diana Castro · Susan T Iannaccone
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    ABSTRACT: Opinion statement: Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, leading to the reduction of SMN protein. The loss of alpha motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord results in progressive paralysis and premature death. There is no current treatment other than symptomatic and supportive care, although over the past decade, there has been an outstanding advancement in understanding the genetics and molecular mechanisms underlying the physiopathology of SMA. The most promising approach, from current trials, is the use of antisense oligonucleotide (ASOs) to redirect SMN2 translation and increase exon 7 inclusion in the majority of the RNA transcript, to increase the production of fully functional SMN protein. Recently, ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (2855 Gazelle Court, Carlsbad CA 92010) reported an interim analysis from a multiple dose study in children with SMA between 2 and 14 years of age, using ASO therapy. The results indicated good tolerability at all dose levels, increases in muscle function in children treated with multiple doses of ISIS-SMNRx, and increase in SMN protein levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from both single and multiple dose studies. Studies in infants are ongoing in a few centers; soon other institutions may begin enrollment. Infants are fragile and their disease process may differ from the older SMA population. It is not known whether effective drug would best be given to SMA infants or older children. Other promising therapies are still in preclinical phases or early clinical phases. Gene therapy appears to be efficient in improving survival in a severe mouse model of SMA, though a better definition of the route of administration and of the safety profile of the viral vectors is needed before clinical administration is possible.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Current Treatment Options in Neurology

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2014

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Oct 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Trial design for SMA depends on meaningful rating scales to assess outcomes. In this study Rasch methodology was applied to 9 motor scales in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Methods: Data from all 3 SMA types were provided by research groups for 9 commonly used scales. Rasch methodology assessed the ordering of response option thresholds, tests of fit, spread of item locations, residual correlations, and person separation index. Results: Each scale had good reliability. However, several issues impacting scale validity were identified, including the extent that items defined clinically meaningful constructs and how well each scale measured performance across the SMA spectrum. Conclusions: The sensitivity and potential utility of each SMA scale as outcome measures for trials could be improved by establishing clear definitions of what is measured, reconsidering items that misfit and items whose response categories have reversed thresholds, and adding new items at the extremes of scale ranges.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Muscle & Nerve
  • Susan T Iannaccone · Diana Castro
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to provide information regarding the diagnosis and natural history of some very rare disorders: congenital muscular dystrophies and congenital myopathies. Patients with these conditions share characteristics such as early onset of weakness and severe hypotonia. Other organs such as the brain, eyes, and skin may be involved. Diagnosis depends largely on recognition of phenotype, muscle biopsy, and mutation analysis. More than 30 genes have been associated with these diseases, most of which have only been recognized in the past decade. Increasing availability of DNA analysis has been important in decreasing delay in diagnosis. Patients with congenital muscular dystrophy or congenital myopathy are at high risk of complications including restrictive lung disease, orthopedic deformities, seizures, cardiomyopathy, and malignant hyperthermia. Life expectancy varies with the severity of complications. Having an accurate and specific diagnosis allows the neurologist to carry out anticipatory guidance and appropriate monitoring. New hope exists for experimental treatments for congenital muscular dystrophy and congenital myopathy as our understanding of pathogenesis evolves.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Neuromuscular Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: To identify causative genes for centronuclear myopathies (CNM), a heterogeneous group of rare inherited muscle disorders that often present in infancy or early life with weakness and hypotonia, using next-generation sequencing of whole exomes and genomes. Whole-exome or -genome sequencing was performed in a cohort of 29 unrelated patients with clinicopathologic diagnoses of CNM or related myopathy depleted for cases with mutations of MTM1, DNM2, and BIN1. Immunofluorescence analyses on muscle biopsies, splicing assays, and gel electrophoresis of patient muscle proteins were performed to determine the molecular consequences of mutations of interest. Autosomal recessive compound heterozygous truncating mutations of the titin gene, TTN, were identified in 5 individuals. Biochemical analyses demonstrated increased titin degradation and truncated titin proteins in patient muscles, establishing the impact of the mutations. Our study identifies truncating TTN mutations as a cause of congenital myopathy that is reported as CNM. Unlike the classic CNM genes that are all involved in excitation-contraction coupling at the triad, TTN encodes the giant sarcomeric protein titin, which forms a myofibrillar backbone for the components of the contractile machinery. This study expands the phenotypic spectrum associated with TTN mutations and indicates that TTN mutation analysis should be considered in cases of possible CNM without mutations in the classic CNM genes.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Juvenile myasthenia gravis (JMG) is an antibody-mediated autoimmune disorder of the neuromuscular junction, at the postsynaptic end plate. JMG presents with fluctuating skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue before the age of 18 years. Very frequently JMG presents with the involvement of the oculomotor muscles, with or without generalized involvement. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of patients diagnosed with myasthenia in the pediatric neuromuscular clinics at UT Southwestern, between 1990 and 2010. Osserman classification and the response to therapy scale of Millichap and Dodge were used to compare each patient's severity of myasthenia and responsiveness to drugs before the surgery as a baseline and at the last visit, after thymectomy. Results: Fifty-eight patients were included; 29 (50%) were African American, and 34 (58.6%) were female. Age of onset was 11 months to 17 years, and 38 patients (65%) presented as generalized myasthenia gravis. Forty-nine patients (84%) were acetylcholine receptor antibody (AchR-Ab) positive. Of the 32 to undergo thymectomy, 19 subjects (59%) experienced an improved response to B level on the Myasthenia Scale of Millichap and Dodge (good improvement, both objective and subjective, but continuation of drug therapy required in the same or lower dosage) and 75% experienced a drop in Osserman classification by at least 1. Of the 8 individuals who did not show improvement after thymectomy, 4 subjects (50%) underwent repeat thymectomy. They had initially less invasive fluoroscopic or thoracoscopic procedure. Thymic hyperplasia was found in 7 patients (21%) and thymoma in 2. Conclusions: Thymectomy was well tolerated by this group of children. There was clinical improvement after thymectomy in two thirds of the AchR-Ab-positive generalized myasthenia gravis patients. Thymic pathology was seen in less than one third of the patients who underwent thymectomy, with thymic hyperplasia being common. Further studies are necessary to determine whether thymectomy is indicated for all children with generalized JMG. More information about the immunologic, genetic, and molecular differences between patients may determine the best treatment for individual patients.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of clinical neuromuscular disease
  • Eugenio Mercuri · Enrico Bertini · Susan T Iannaccone
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive disorder characterised by degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord and is caused by mutations of the survival of motor neuron 1 gene SMN1. The severity of spinal muscular atrophy is highly variable and no cure is available at present. Consensus has been reached on several aspects of care, the availability of which can have a substantial effect on prognosis, but controversies remain. The development of standards of care for children with the disorder and the identification of promising treatment strategies have changed the natural history of spinal muscular atrophy, and the prospects are good for further improvements in function, quality of life, and survival. A long-term benefit for patients will be the development of effective interventions (such as antisense oligonucleotides), some of which are in clinical trials. The need to be prepared for clinical trials has been the impetus for a remarkable and unprecedented cooperation between clinicians, scientists, industry, government, and volunteer organisations on an international scale.
    No preview · Article · May 2012 · The Lancet Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by degeneration of anterior horn cells, which leads to progressive muscle weakness. Children with SMA type II do not develop the ability to walk without support and have a shortened life expectancy, whereas children with SMA type III develop the ability to walk and have a normal life expectancy. There are no known efficacious drug treatments that influence the disease course of SMA. This is an update of a review first published in 2009. To evaluate whether drug treatment is able to slow or arrest the disease progression of SMA types II and III and to assess if such therapy can be given safely. Drug treatment for SMA type I is the topic of a separate updated Cochrane review. We searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register (8 March 2011), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 1), MEDLINE (January 1991 to February 2011), EMBASE (January 1991 to February 2011) and ISI Web of Knowledge (January 1991 to March 8 2011). We also searched to identify as yet unpublished trials (8 March 2011). We sought all randomised or quasi-randomised trials that examined the efficacy of drug treatment for SMA types II and III. Participants had to fulfil the clinical criteria and have a deletion or mutation of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene (5q11.2-13.2) that was confirmed by genetic analysis.The primary outcome measure was to be change in disability score within one year after the onset of treatment. Secondary outcome measures within one year after the onset of treatment were to be change in muscle strength, ability to stand or walk, change in quality of life, time from the start of treatment until death or full time ventilation and adverse events attributable to treatment during the trial period. Two authors independently reviewed and extracted data from all potentially relevant trials. Pooled relative risks and pooled standardised mean differences were to be calculated to assess treatment efficacy. Risk of bias was systematically analysed. Six randomised placebo-controlled trials on treatment for SMA types II and III were found and included in the review: the four in the original review and two trials added in this update. The treatments were creatine (55 participants), phenylbutyrate (107 participants), gabapentin (84 participants), thyrotropin releasing hormone (9 participants), hydroxyurea (57 participants), and combination therapy with valproate and acetyl-L-carnitine (61 participants). None of these studies were completely free of bias. All studies had adequate blinding, sequence generation and reports of primary outcomes.None of the included trials showed any statistically significant effects on the outcome measures in participants with SMA types II and III. One participant died due to suffocation in the hydroxyurea trial and one participant died in the creatine trial. No participants in any of the other four trials died or reached the state of full time ventilation. Serious side effects were infrequent. There is no proven efficacious drug treatment for SMA types II and III.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder with onset in childhood and adolescence that results in progressive muscle weakness. There are three main types of SMA. Drug treatment for SMA type I will be discussed in a separate Cochrane review. The age of onset of SMA type II is between six and 18 months. Children with SMA type II will never become able to walk without support, they survive beyond two years and may live into adolescence or longer. The age of onset of SMA III, also known as Kugelberg-Welander disease, is after 18 months. Children with SMA type III develop the ability to walk at some time and life expectancy is normal. From four randomized controlled trials there is no evidence for a significant effect on disease course when patients with SMA type II and III are treated with creatine, phenylbutyrate, gabapentin or thyrotropin releasing hormone. Thus, there is still no known efficacious drug treatment for SMA type II and III.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2011
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we performed an open-label, pilot study of an orally administered liquid formulation of immediate-release pentoxifylline (PTX) on patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Treatment efficacy, safety, and tolerability were assessed. The tolerability and safety of PTX and measures of muscle strength and function were evaluated during 12 months of treatment. Seventeen boys with DMD, between 4 and 8 years of age, were enrolled at one of five Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG) centers. Only 9 were able to complete the 12-month PTX treatment phase; the primary reason for discontinuation was adverse events. Intolerable gastrointestinal side effects were experienced by 65% of participants. Two participants had severe leukopenia that resolved with medication withdrawal. Open-label treatment with a liquid formulation of immediate-release PTX resulted in a high incidence of adverse events in boys with DMD. Poor tolerability of this PTX formulation precluded adequate assessment of efficacy.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Muscle & Nerve
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in LMNA cause a variety of diseases affecting striated muscle including autosomal Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (EDMD), LMNA-associated congenital muscular dystrophy (L-CMD), and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 1B (LGMD1B). Here, we describe novel and recurrent LMNA mutations identified in 50 patients from the United States and Canada, which is the first report of the distribution of LMNA mutations from a large cohort outside Europe. This augments the number of LMNA mutations known to cause EDMD by 16.5%, equating to an increase of 5.9% in the total known LMNA mutations. Eight patients presented with either p.R249W/Q or p.E358K mutations and an early onset EDMD phenotype: two mutations recently associated with L-CMD. Importantly, 15 mutations are novel and include eight missense mutations (p.R189P, p.F206L, p.S268P, p.S295P, p.E361K, p.G449D, p.L454P, and p.W467R), three splice site mutations (c.IVS4 + 1G>A, c.IVS6 - 2A>G, and c.IVS8 + 1G>A), one duplication/in frame insertion (p.R190dup), one deletion (p.Q355del), and two silent mutations (p.R119R and p.K270K). Analysis of 4 of our lamin A mutations showed that some caused nuclear deformations and lamin B redistribution in a mutation specific manner. Together, this study significantly augments the number of EDMD patients on the database and describes 15 novel mutations that underlie EDMD, which will contribute to establishing genotype-phenotype correlations.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a severe neuromuscular disease with onset in childhood and adolescence that results in progressive muscle weakness. There are three main types of SMA. Drug treatment for SMA type II and III will be discussed in a separate Cochrane review. The age of onset of SMA type 1, also known as Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, is before six months. Children with SMA type I will never be able to sit without support and usually die by the age of two years. It is one of the most important causes of death due to a genetic disease in childhood. There was only one small randomized trial on the efficacy of treatment with riluzole for patients with SMA type I. In this trial all three patients in the placebo group died, but three of the seven children treated with riluzole were still alive at the age of 30, 48 and 64 months. However, none of the patients in the riluzole or placebo group developed the ability to roll, sit or stand. Evidence is insufficient to recommend riluzole for SMA type I. No drug treatment has been shown to have significant efficacy for SMA type I.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital muscular dystrophies are a group of rare neuromuscular disorders with a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes. Recent advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of congenital muscular dystrophy have enabled better diagnosis. However, medical care for patients with congenital muscular dystrophy remains very diverse. Advances in many areas of medical technology have not been adopted in clinical practice. The International Standard of Care Committee for Congenital Muscular Dystrophy was established to identify current care issues, review literature for evidence-based practice, and achieve consensus on care recommendations in 7 areas: diagnosis, neurology, pulmonology, orthopedics/rehabilitation, gastroenterology/ nutrition/speech/oral care, cardiology, and palliative care. To achieve consensus on the care recommendations, 2 separate online surveys were conducted to poll opinions from experts in the field and from congenital muscular dystrophy families. The final consensus was achieved in a 3-day workshop conducted in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2009. This consensus statement describes the care recommendations from this committee.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of child neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a diverse group of myopathic disorders characterized by proximal muscle weakness and hyperCKemia. Mutations encoding sarcoglycans and numerous other proteins have been shown to be responsible for most cases. We report a series of girls with a negative family history for boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, demonstrating an LGMD phenotype associated with dystrophinopathy. A retrospective chart review of all girls presenting with the LGMD phenotype to our clinic between January 2001 and September 2007 was conducted. Patients 18 years old or younger with dystrophinopathy proven by muscle biopsy and/or gene mutations and a negative family history for affected boys were included in the review. Five patients, 4 to 10 years of age at presentation, were included in the series. Four had an LGMD phenotype at presentation. All five patients had hyperCKemia, all five patients had gene mutations, and four patients had muscle biopsy consistent with dystrophinopathy. Dystrophinopathy is an important cause of LGMD phenotype in girls and should be considered in the differential diagnosis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Journal of clinical neuromuscular disease
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical research visits are challenging for people with SMA because of limited mobility and intercurrent illnesses. Missing data threaten the validity of research results. Obtaining outcomes remotely would represent a solution. To evaluate reliability of telephone administration of the PedsQL Pediatric Generic Core Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (Generic) and Neuromuscular Module 3.0 (NM) in SMA, we recruited 21 participants of a Natural History Study for telephone administration of both modules no more than 7 days before or after an in-person study visit. We found excellent reliability between telephone and in-person administration of both modules with the NM slightly better than the Generic. Reliability of the child and parent forms was similar. We concluded that both modules can be administered reliably over the telephone to SMA patients and caregivers, expanding the utility of these tools in clinical trials. Notably, telephone administration is reliable in children as young as 8 years.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Neuromuscular Disorders

Publication Stats

4k Citations
678.49 Total Impact Points


  • 1996-2015
    • University of Texas at Dallas
      Richardson, Texas, United States
  • 1993-2015
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • • Division of General Internal Medicine
      • • Division of Pediatric Neurology
      • • Division of Neuro-oncology
      Dallas, Texas, United States
  • 1992-2011
    • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
      Texas City, Texas, United States
  • 1987-2009
    • University of Cincinnati
      • Department of Neurology
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 2008
    • Shifa International Hospitals Ltd.
      Islāmābād, Islāmābād, Pakistan
  • 2007
    • PeaceHealth
      Bellevue, Washington, United States
  • 2005
    • University of North Texas at Dallas
      Dallas, Texas, United States
  • 2003
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      Portland, Oregon, United States
  • 1990
    • Connecticut Children's Medical Center
      Hartford, Connecticut, United States
  • 1980-1990
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
      • • Division of Pathology
      • • Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery
      • • Division of Neurology
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 1989
    • University of Cincinnati Medical Center
      Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • 1983
    • Cook Children's Health Care System
      Fort Worth, Texas, United States