sabato 27 febbraio 2016
Progressive encephalopathy with oedema, hypsarrhythmia and optic atrophy (PEHO) syndrome is a rare Mendelian phenotype comprising severe retardation, early onset epileptic seizures, optic nerve/cerebellar atrophy, pedal oedema, and early death. Atypical cases are often known as PEHO-like, and there is an overlap with ‘early infantile epileptic encephalopathy’. PEHO is considered to be recessive, but surprisingly since initial description in 1991, no causative recessive gene(s) have been described. Hence, we report a multiplex consanguineous family with the PEHO phenotype where affected individuals had a homozygous frame-shift deletion in (c.2313delT, p.Leu772*ter). Analysis of cDNA extracted from patient lymphocytes unexpectedly failed to show non-sense mediated decay, and we demonstrate that the mutation produces a truncated protein lacking the crucial C-terminal half of CCDC88A (girdin). To further investigate the possible role of in human neurodevelopment we re-examined the behaviour and neuroanatomy of knockout pups. These mice had mesial-temporal lobe epilepsy, microcephaly and corpus callosum deficiency, and by postnatal Day 21, microcephaly; the mice died at an early age. As the mouse knockout phenotype mimics the human PEHO phenotype this suggests that loss of CCDC88A is a cause of the PEHO phenotype, and that CCDC88A is essential for multiple aspects of normal human neurodevelopment
Ethylmalonic encephalopathy is a fatal, rapidly progressive mitochondrial disorder caused by mutations, whose peculiar clinical and biochemical features are due to the toxic accumulation of hydrogen sulphide and of its metabolites, including thiosulphate. In mice with ethylmalonic encephalopathy, liver-targeted adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer dramatically improved both clinical course and metabolic abnormalities. Reasoning that the same achievement could be accomplished by liver transplantation, we performed living donor-liver transplantation in an infant with ethylmalonic encephalopathy. Unlike the invariably progressive deterioration of the disease, 8 months after liver transplantation, we observed striking neurological improvement with remarkable achievements in psychomotor development, along with dramatic reversion of biochemical abnormalities. These results clearly indicate that liver transplantation is a viable therapeutic option for ETHE1 disease.
Inherited erythromelalgia due to mutations in SCN9A: natural history, clinical phenotype and somatosensory profile
Inherited erythromelalgia, the first human pain syndrome linked to voltage-gated sodium channels, is widely regarded as a genetic model of human pain. Because inherited erythromelalgia was linked to gain-of-function changes of sodium channel Na1.7 only a decade ago, the literature has mainly consisted of reports of genetic and/or clinical characterization of individual patients. This paper describes the pattern of pain, natural history, somatosensory profile, psychosocial status and olfactory testing of 13 subjects with primary inherited erythromelalgia with mutations of , the gene encoding Na1.7. Subjects were clinically profiled using questionnaires, quantitative sensory testing and olfaction testing during the in-clinic phase of the study. In addition, a detailed pain phenotype for each subject was obtained over a 3-month period at home using diaries, enabling subjects to self-report pain attacks, potential triggers, duration and severity of pain. All subjects reported pain and heat in the extremities (usually feet and/or hands), with pain attacks triggered by heat or exercise and relieved mainly by non-pharmacological manoeuvres such as cooling. A large proportion of pain attacks (355/1099; 32%) did not involve a specific trigger. There was considerable variability in the number, duration and severity of pain attacks between subjects, even those carrying the same mutation within a family, and within individuals over the 12–13 week observation period. Most subjects (11/13) had pain between attacks. For these subjects, mean pain severity between pain attacks was usually lower than that during an attack. Olfaction testing using the Sniffin’T test did not demonstrate hyperosmia. One subject had evidence of orthostatic hypotension. Overall, there was a statistically significant correlation between total Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores ( = 0.005) and pain between attacks and for Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Depression scores and pain between attacks ( = 0.001). Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores for five subjects were below the threshold for mild anxiety or depression and none of the 13 subjects were severely anxious and/or depressed. Quantitative sensory testing revealed significantly increased detection thresholds for cold and warm stimuli at affected, compared to unaffected sites. By contrast, significantly decreased cold and heat pain thresholds were found at unaffected sites. Sensory profiles varied considerably between affected and unaffected sites, suggesting the existence of small fibre neuropathy in symptomatic sites. This in-depth clinical characterization of a well-defined inherited erythromelalgia population indicates the importance of characterizing the pain phenotype in individuals before undertaking clinical trials, given the inherent variability of pain both between and within inherited erythromelalgia subjects, even those within a family who carry the same mutation.