Publications by authors named "Adeline Vanderver"

150 Publications

Reliability of the Telemedicine Application of the Gross Motor Function Measure-88 in Patients With Leukodystrophy.

Pediatr Neurol 2021 Sep 24;125:34-39. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Leukodystrophies are a rare class of disorders characterized by severe neuromotor disability. There is a strong need for research regarding the functional status of people with leukodystrophy which is limited by the need for in-person assessments of mobility. The purpose of this study is to assess the reliability of the Gross Motor Function Measure-88 (GMFM-88) using telemedicine compared with standard in-person assessments in patients with leukodystrophy.

Methods: A total of 21 subjects with a diagnosis of leukodystrophy (age range = 1.79-52.82 years) were evaluated by in-person and by telemedicine evaluations with the GMFM-88 by physical therapists. Inter-rater reliability was assessed through evaluation of the same subject by two independent raters within a three-week period (n = 10 encounters), and intrarater reliability was assessed through blinded rescoring of video-recorded assessments after a one-week time interval (n = 6 encounters).

Results: Remote assessments were performed by caregivers in all 21 subjects using resources found in the home with remote guidance. There was agreement between all paired in-person and remote measurements (Lin's concordance correlation ≥0.995). The Bland-Altman analysis indicated that the paired differences were within ±5%. Intrarater and inter-rater reliability demonstrated an intraclass correlation coefficient of >0.90.

Conclusions: These results support that remote application of the GMFM-88 is a feasible and reliable approach to assess individuals with leukodystrophy. Telemedicine application of outcome measures may be of particular value in rare diseases and those with severe neurologic disability that impacts the ability to travel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.09.012DOI Listing
September 2021

Acquisition of Developmental Milestones in Hypomyelination With Atrophy of the Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum and Other TUBB4A-Related Leukoencephalopathy.

J Child Neurol 2021 Sep;36(10):805-811

Division of Neurology, 6567Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Mutations in are associated with a spectrum of neurologic disorders categorized as -related leukoencephalopathy. Affected children can present with global developmental delay or normal early development, followed by a variable loss of skills over time. Further research is needed to characterize the factors associated with the divergent developmental trajectories in this rare monogenic disorder because this phenotypic spectrum is not fully explained by genotype alone.To characterize early psychomotor features, developmental milestones and age of disease onset were collected from medical records (n=54 individuals). Three subcohorts were identified: individuals with the common p.Asp249Asn variant vs all other genotypes with either early (<12 months of age) or late onset of presentation. Individuals with the p.Asp249Asn variant or those with non-p.Asp249Asn genotypes with later disease onset attained key milestones, including head control, sitting, and independent walking. Subjects with early-onset, non-p.Asp249Asn-associated disease were less likely to achieve developmental milestones. Next, we defined the developmental severity as the percentage of milestones attained by age 2 years. The mild form was defined as attaining at least 75% of key developmental milestones. Among cohort categorized as mild, individuals with p.Asp249Asn variant were more likely to lose acquired abilities when compared with non-p.Asp249Asn individuals.Our results suggest multiple influences on developmental trajectory, including a strong contribution from genotype and age of onset. Further studies are needed to identify additional factors that influence overall outcomes to better counsel families and to design clinical trials with appropriate clinical endpoints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/08830738211000977DOI Listing
September 2021

Hodgkin lymphoma in an individual with TREX1-mediated Aicardi Goutières syndrome.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 Sep 7:e29322. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.29322DOI Listing
September 2021

Expanded phenotype of AARS1-related white matter disease.

Genet Med 2021 Aug 27. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Department of Neuropediatrics, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.

Purpose: Recent reports of individuals with cytoplasmic transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetase-related disorders have identified cases with phenotypic variability from the index presentations. We sought to assess phenotypic variability in individuals with AARS1-related disease.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed on individuals with biallelic variants in AARS1. Clinical data, neuroimaging, and genetic testing results were reviewed. Alanyl tRNA synthetase (AlaRS) activity was measured in available fibroblasts.

Results: We identified 11 affected individuals. Two phenotypic presentations emerged, one with early infantile-onset disease resembling the index cases of AARS1-related epileptic encephalopathy with deficient myelination (n = 7). The second (n = 4) was a later-onset disorder, where disease onset occurred after the first year of life and was characterized on neuroimaging by a progressive posterior predominant leukoencephalopathy evolving to include the frontal white matter. AlaRS activity was significantly reduced in five affected individuals with both early infantile-onset and late-onset phenotypes.

Conclusion: We suggest that variants in AARS1 result in a broader clinical spectrum than previously appreciated. The predominant form results in early infantile-onset disease with epileptic encephalopathy and deficient myelination. However, a subgroup of affected individuals manifests with late-onset disease and similarly rapid progressive clinical decline. Longitudinal imaging and clinical follow-up will be valuable in understanding factors affecting disease progression and outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01286-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Further Delineation of the Clinical and Pathologic Features of HIKESHI-Related Hypomyelinating Leukodystrophy.

Pediatr Neurol 2021 Aug 14;121:11-19. Epub 2021 May 14.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: A recurrent homozygous missense variant, c.160G>C;p.(Val54Leu) in HIKESHI, was found to cause a hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with high frequency in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. We provide extended phenotypic classification of this disorder based on clinical history of a further seven affected individuals, assess carrier frequency in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, and provide a neuropathological study.

Methods: Clinical information, neuroimaging, and biosamples were collected. Brain autopsy was performed for one case.

Results: Individuals with HIKESHI-related disease share common clinical features: early axial hypotonia evolving to dystonia or with progressive spasticity, hyperreflexia and clonus, feeding difficulties with poor growth, and nystagmus. Severe morbidity or death during febrile illness occurred in five of the nine affected individuals. Magnetic resonance images of seven patients were analyzed and demonstrated diffuse hypomyelination and thin corpus callosum. Genotyping data of more than 125,000 Ashkenazi Jewish individuals revealed a carrier frequency of 1 in 216. Gross pathology examination in one case revealed abnormal white matter. Microscopically, there was a near-total absence of myelin with a relative preservation of axons. The cerebral white matter showed several reactive astrocytes and microglia.

Conclusions: We provide pathologic evidence for a primary disorder of the myelin in HIKESHI-related leukodystrophy. These findings are consistent with the hypomyelination seen in brain magnetic resonance imaging and with the clinical features of early-onset spastic/dystonic quadriplegia and nystagmus. The high carrier rate of the recurrent variant seen in the Ashkenazi Jewish population requires increased attention to screening and diagnosis of this condition, particularly in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.04.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8327280PMC
August 2021

Death rates in the U.S. due to Leukodystrophies with pediatric forms.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 08 7;185(8):2361-2373. Epub 2021 May 7.

Population Health Observatory, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.

To use national mortality and state death certificate records to estimate disease specific mortality rates among pediatric and adult populations for 23 leukodystrophies (LDs) with pediatric forms. Additionally, to calculate yearly prevalence and caseload of the most severe LD cases that will eventually result in pediatric death (i.e., pediatric fatality cases). Death certificate records describing cause of death were collected from states based on 10 ICD-10 codes associated with the 23 LDs. Deaths in the U.S. with these codes were distributed into categories based on proportions identified in state death certificate data. Mortality rates, prevalence, and caseload were calculated from resulting expected numbers, population sizes, and average lifetimes. An estimated 1.513 per 1,000,000 0-17 year old's died of these LDs at average age 5.2 years and 0.194 for those ≥18 at an average age of 42.3 years. Prevalence of pediatric fatality cases of these LDs declined from 1999 through 2007 and then remained constant at 6.2 per million children per year through 2012. Epidemiological information, currently lacking for rare diseases, is useful to newborn screening programs, research funding agencies, and care centers for LD patients. Methods used here are generally useful for studying rare diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62248DOI Listing
August 2021

Bi-allelic KARS1 pathogenic variants affecting functions of cytosolic and mitochondrial isoforms are associated with a progressive and multisystem disease.

Hum Mutat 2021 06 11;42(6):745-761. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Translational Medicine, Federico II University, Naples, Italy.

KARS1 encodes a lysyl-transfer RNA synthetase (LysRS) that links lysine to its cognate transfer RNA. Two different KARS1 isoforms exert functional effects in cytosol and mitochondria. Bi-allelic pathogenic variants in KARS1 have been associated to sensorineural hearing and visual loss, neuropathy, seizures, and leukodystrophy. We report the clinical, biochemical, and neuroradiological features of nine individuals with KARS1-related disorder carrying 12 different variants with nine of them being novel. The consequences of these variants on the cytosol and/or mitochondrial LysRS were functionally validated in yeast mutants. Most cases presented with severe neurological features including congenital and progressive microcephaly, seizures, developmental delay/intellectual disability, and cerebral atrophy. Oculo-motor dysfunction and immuno-hematological problems were present in six and three cases, respectively. A yeast growth defect of variable severity was detected for most variants on both cytosolic and mitochondrial isoforms. The detrimental effects of two variants on yeast growth were partially rescued by lysine supplementation. Congenital progressive microcephaly, oculo-motor dysfunction, and immuno-hematological problems are emerging phenotypes in KARS1-related disorder. The data in yeast emphasize the role of both mitochondrial and cytosolic isoforms in the pathogenesis of KARS1-related disorder and supports the therapeutic potential of lysine supplementation at least in a subset of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8251883PMC
June 2021

Acquisition of Developmental Milestones in Hypomyelination With Atrophy of the Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum and Other TUBB4A-Related Leukoencephalopathy.

J Child Neurol 2021 Apr 12:883073821000977. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Neurology, 6567Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Mutations in are associated with a spectrum of neurologic disorders categorized as -related leukoencephalopathy. Affected children can present with global developmental delay or normal early development, followed by a variable loss of skills over time. Further research is needed to characterize the factors associated with the divergent developmental trajectories in this rare monogenic disorder because this phenotypic spectrum is not fully explained by genotype alone.To characterize early psychomotor features, developmental milestones and age of disease onset were collected from medical records (n=54 individuals). Three subcohorts were identified: individuals with the common p.Asp249Asn variant vs all other genotypes with either early (<12 months of age) or late onset of presentation. Individuals with the p.Asp249Asn variant or those with non-p.Asp249Asn genotypes with later disease onset attained key milestones, including head control, sitting, and independent walking. Subjects with early-onset, non-p.Asp249Asn-associated disease were less likely to achieve developmental milestones. Next, we defined the developmental severity as the percentage of milestones attained by age 2 years. The mild form was defined as attaining at least 75% of key developmental milestones. Among cohort categorized as mild, individuals with p.Asp249Asn variant were more likely to lose acquired abilities when compared with non-p.Asp249Asn individuals.Our results suggest multiple influences on developmental trajectory, including a strong contribution from genotype and age of onset. Further studies are needed to identify additional factors that influence overall outcomes to better counsel families and to design clinical trials with appropriate clinical endpoints.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073821000977DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8505576PMC
April 2021

SPEN haploinsufficiency causes a neurodevelopmental disorder overlapping proximal 1p36 deletion syndrome with an episignature of X chromosomes in females.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 03 16;108(3):502-516. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA.

Deletion 1p36 (del1p36) syndrome is the most common human disorder resulting from a terminal autosomal deletion. This condition is molecularly and clinically heterogeneous. Deletions involving two non-overlapping regions, known as the distal (telomeric) and proximal (centromeric) critical regions, are sufficient to cause the majority of the recurrent clinical features, although with different facial features and dysmorphisms. SPEN encodes a transcriptional repressor commonly deleted in proximal del1p36 syndrome and is located centromeric to the proximal 1p36 critical region. Here, we used clinical data from 34 individuals with truncating variants in SPEN to define a neurodevelopmental disorder presenting with features that overlap considerably with those of proximal del1p36 syndrome. The clinical profile of this disease includes developmental delay/intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, aggressive behavior, attention deficit disorder, hypotonia, brain and spine anomalies, congenital heart defects, high/narrow palate, facial dysmorphisms, and obesity/increased BMI, especially in females. SPEN also emerges as a relevant gene for del1p36 syndrome by co-expression analyses. Finally, we show that haploinsufficiency of SPEN is associated with a distinctive DNA methylation episignature of the X chromosome in affected females, providing further evidence of a specific contribution of the protein to the epigenetic control of this chromosome, and a paradigm of an X chromosome-specific episignature that classifies syndromic traits. We conclude that SPEN is required for multiple developmental processes and SPEN haploinsufficiency is a major contributor to a disorder associated with deletions centromeric to the previously established 1p36 critical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008487PMC
March 2021

Hepatic Involvement in Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome.

Neuropediatrics 2021 Jan 14. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS) is a monogenic type-I interferonopathy that results in neurologic injury. The systemic impact of sustained interferon activation is less well characterized. Liver inflammation is known to be associated with the neonatal form of AGS, but the incidence of AGS-related hepatitis across lifespan is unknown.We compared natural history data including liver enzyme levels with markers of inflammation, (liver-specific autoantibodies and interferon signaling gene expression[ISG] scores). Liver enzymes were classified as normal or elevated by the fold increase over the upper limit of normal (ULN). The highest increases were designated as hepatitis, defined as aspartate-aminotransferase or alanine-aminotransferase threefold ULN, or gamma-glutamyl transferase 2.5-fold ULN. A larger cohort was used to further characterize the longitudinal incidence of liver abnormalities and the association with age and genotype.Across the AGS cohort ( = 102), elevated liver enzymes were identified in 76 individuals (74.5%) with abnormalities at a level consistent with hepatitis in 29 individuals (28.4%). SAMHD1 mutations were less likely to be associated with hepatitis (log-rank test;  = 0.011). Hepatitis was associated with early-onset disease and microcephaly (log-rank test; microcephaly  = 0.0401, age onset  = 0.0355). While most subjects ( = 20/33) were found to have liver-specific autoantibodies, there was no association between the presence of autoantibodies or ISG scores with hepatitis-level enzyme elevations.In conclusion, all genotypes of AGS are associated with transient elevations of liver enzymes and the presence of liver-associated autoantibodies. This adds to our growing understanding of the systemic pathology AGS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1722673DOI Listing
January 2021

MRI surveillance of boys with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy identified by newborn screening: Meta-analysis and consensus guidelines.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2021 05 9;44(3):728-739. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Division of Neurogenetics and The Moser Center for Leukodystrophies, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Background: Among boys with X-Linked adrenoleukodystrophy, a subset will develop childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD). CCALD is typically lethal without hematopoietic stem cell transplant before or soon after symptom onset. We sought to establish evidence-based guidelines detailing the neuroimaging surveillance of boys with neurologically asymptomatic adrenoleukodystrophy.

Methods: To establish the most frequent age and diagnostic neuroimaging modality for CCALD, we completed a meta-analysis of relevant studies published between January 1, 1970 and September 10, 2019. We used the consensus development conference method to incorporate the resulting data into guidelines to inform the timing and techniques for neuroimaging surveillance. Final guideline agreement was defined as >80% consensus.

Results: One hundred twenty-three studies met inclusion criteria yielding 1285 patients. The overall mean age of CCALD diagnosis is 7.91 years old. The median age of CCALD diagnosis calculated from individual patient data is 7.0 years old (IQR: 6.0-9.5, n = 349). Ninety percent of patients were diagnosed between 3 and 12. Conventional MRI was most frequently reported, comprised most often of T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI. The expert panel achieved 95.7% consensus on the following surveillance parameters: (a) Obtain an MRI between 12 and 18 months old. (b) Obtain a second MRI 1 year after baseline. (c) Between 3 and 12 years old, obtain a contrast-enhanced MRI every 6 months. (d) After 12 years, obtain an annual MRI.

Conclusion: Boys with adrenoleukodystrophy identified early in life should be monitored with serial brain MRIs during the period of highest risk for conversion to CCALD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8113077PMC
May 2021

Late-Onset Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome: A Characterization of Presenting Clinical Features.

Pediatr Neurol 2021 02 2;115:1-6. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Background: Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS) is a genetic interferonopathy characterized by early onset of severe neurological injury with intracranial calcifications, leukoencephalopathy, and systemic inflammation. Increasingly, a spectrum of neurological dysfunction and presentation beyond the infantile period is being recognized in AGS. The aim of this study was to characterize late-infantile and juvenile-onset AGS.

Methods: We conducted a multi-institution review of individuals with AGS who were older than one year at the time of presentation, including medical history, imaging characteristics, and suspected diagnoses at presentation.

Results: Thirty-four individuals were identified, all with pathogenic variants in RNASEH2B, SAMHD1, ADAR1, or IFIH1. Most individuals had a history of developmental delay and/or systemic symptoms, such as sterile pyrexias and chilblains, followed by a prodromal period associated with increasing symptoms. This was followed by an abrupt onset of neurological decline (fulminant phase), with a median onset at 1.33 years (range 1.00 to 17.68 years). Most individuals presented with a change in gross motor skills (97.0%), typically with increased tone (78.8%). Leukodystrophy was the most common magnetic resonance imaging finding (40.0%). Calcifications were less common (12.9%).

Conclusions: This is the first study to characterize the presentation of late-infantile and juvenile onset AGS and its phenotypic spectrum. Late-onset AGS can present insidiously and lacks classical clinical and neuroimaging findings. Signs of early systemic dysfunction before fulminant disease onset and loss of motor symptoms were common. We strongly recommend genetic testing when there is concern for sustained inflammation of unknown origins or changes in motor skills in children older than one year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2020.10.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7856674PMC
February 2021

Histone H3.3 beyond cancer: Germline mutations in cause a previously unidentified neurodegenerative disorder in 46 patients.

Sci Adv 2020 Dec 2;6(49). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Institut für Neurogenomik, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany.

Although somatic mutations in Histone 3.3 (H3.3) are well-studied drivers of oncogenesis, the role of germline mutations remains unreported. We analyze 46 patients bearing de novo germline mutations in histone 3 family 3A () or with progressive neurologic dysfunction and congenital anomalies without malignancies. Molecular modeling of all 37 variants demonstrated clear disruptions in interactions with DNA, other histones, and histone chaperone proteins. Patient histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs) analysis revealed notably aberrant local PTM patterns distinct from the somatic lysine mutations that cause global PTM dysregulation. RNA sequencing on patient cells demonstrated up-regulated gene expression related to mitosis and cell division, and cellular assays confirmed an increased proliferative capacity. A zebrafish model showed craniofacial anomalies and a defect in Foxd3-derived glia. These data suggest that the mechanism of germline mutations are distinct from cancer-associated somatic histone mutations but may converge on control of cell proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc9207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821880PMC
December 2020

JAK Inhibition in the Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome. Reply.

N Engl J Med 2020 11;383(22):2191-2193

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2031081DOI Listing
November 2020

Endocrine and Growth Abnormalities in 4H Leukodystrophy Caused by Variants in POLR3A, POLR3B, and POLR1C.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 01;106(2):e660-e674

Department of Child Neurology, University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Context: 4H or POLR3-related leukodystrophy is an autosomal recessive disorder typically characterized by hypomyelination, hypodontia, and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, caused by biallelic pathogenic variants in POLR3A, POLR3B, POLR1C, and POLR3K. The endocrine and growth abnormalities associated with this disorder have not been thoroughly investigated to date.

Objective: To systematically characterize endocrine abnormalities of patients with 4H leukodystrophy.

Design: An international cross-sectional study was performed on 150 patients with genetically confirmed 4H leukodystrophy between 2015 and 2016. Endocrine and growth abnormalities were evaluated, and neurological and other non-neurological features were reviewed. Potential genotype/phenotype associations were also investigated.

Setting: This was a multicenter retrospective study using information collected from 3 predominant centers.

Patients: A total of 150 patients with 4H leukodystrophy and pathogenic variants in POLR3A, POLR3B, or POLR1C were included.

Main Outcome Measures: Variables used to evaluate endocrine and growth abnormalities included pubertal history, hormone levels (estradiol, testosterone, stimulated LH and FSH, stimulated GH, IGF-I, prolactin, ACTH, cortisol, TSH, and T4), and height and head circumference charts.

Results: The most common endocrine abnormalities were delayed puberty (57/74; 77% overall, 64% in males, 89% in females) and short stature (57/93; 61%), when evaluated according to physician assessment. Abnormal thyroid function was reported in 22% (13/59) of patients.

Conclusions: Our results confirm pubertal abnormalities and short stature are the most common endocrine features seen in 4H leukodystrophy. However, we noted that endocrine abnormalities are typically underinvestigated in this patient population. A prospective study is required to formulate evidence-based recommendations for management of the endocrine manifestations of this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa700DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823228PMC
January 2021

Cerebral Microangiopathy in Leukoencephalopathy With Cerebral Calcifications and Cysts: A Pathological Description.

J Child Neurol 2021 02 28;36(2):133-140. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Leukoencephalopathy with calcifications and cysts (LCC) is a neurological syndrome recently associated with pathogenic variants in . We report autopsy neuropathological findings from an individual with genetically confirmed LCC. Histologic studies included staining of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections by hematoxylin and eosin, elastic van Gieson, and luxol fast blue. Immunohistochemistry stains against glial fibrillary acidic protein, proteolipid protein, phosphorylated neurofilament, CD31, alpha-interferon, LN3, and inflammatory markers were performed. Gross examination revealed dark tan/gray appearing white matter with widespread calcifications. Microscopy revealed a diffuse destructive process due to a vasculopathy with secondary ischemic lesions and mineralization. The vasculopathy involved clustered small vessels, resembling vascular malformations, and sporadic lymphocytic infiltration of vessel walls. The white matter was also diffusely abnormal, with concurrent loss of myelin and axons, tissue rarefaction with multifocal cystic degeneration, and the presence of foamy macrophages, secondary calcifications, and astrogliosis. The midbrain, pons, and cerebellum were diffusely involved. It is not understood why variants in result in a disorder that predominantly causes neurological disease and significantly disrupts the cerebral vasculature. Clinical and radiological benefit was recently reported in an LCC patient treated with Bevacizumab; it is important that these patients are rapidly diagnosed and trial of this treatment modality is considered in appropriate circumstances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073820958330DOI Listing
February 2021

De novo missense variants in are associated with developmental and motor delays, brain structure abnormalities and dysmorphic features.

J Med Genet 2021 Oct 20;58(10):712-716. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Hunan Province, Changsha, China.

Objective: To determine the potential disease association between variants in and complex multisystem neurological and developmental delay phenotypes.

Methods: Here we describe a series of de novo missense variants in in 10 unrelated individuals with overlapping features. Exome sequencing or genome sequencing was performed on all individuals, and the cohort was assembled through GeneMatcher.

Results: encodes an evolutionary ancient and widely expressed transmembrane protein with no known disease association, although two paralogues are involved in developmental and metabolic disorders. Exome or genome sequencing revealed rare de novo missense variants in 10 individuals with developmental delay, intellectual disability, thin corpus callosum, microcephaly and seizures. We identified five unique variants and two recurrent variants, c.1448G>A (p.Arg483His) in three cases and c.367T>C (p.Trp123Arg) in two cases. All variants are absent from population allele frequency databases, and most are predicted to be deleterious by multiple in silico damage-prediction algorithms.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that rare de novo variants in can lead to a previously unrecognised early-onset neurodevelopmental disorder. Further investigation of individuals harbouring variants may lead to a better understanding of the function of this ubiquitously expressed gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107137DOI Listing
October 2021

Estimating the relative frequency of leukodystrophies and recommendations for carrier screening in the era of next-generation sequencing.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 08 23;182(8):1906-1912. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Leukodystrophies are a heterogeneous group of heritable disorders characterized by abnormal brain white matter signal on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and primary involvement of the cellular components of myelin. Previous estimates suggest the incidence of leukodystrophies as a whole to be 1 in 7,000 individuals, however the frequency of specific diagnoses relative to others has not been described. Next generation sequencing approaches offer the opportunity to redefine our understanding of the relative frequency of different leukodystrophies. We assessed the relative frequency of all 30 leukodystrophies (associated with 55 genes) in more than 49,000 exomes. We identified a relatively high frequency of disorders previously thought of as very rare, including Aicardi Goutières Syndrome, TUBB4A-related leukodystrophy, Peroxisomal biogenesis disorders, POLR3-related Leukodystrophy, Vanishing White Matter, and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. Despite the relative frequency of these conditions, carrier-screening laboratories regularly test only 20 of the 55 leukodystrophy-related genes, and do not test at all, or test only one or a few, genes for some of the higher frequency disorders. Relative frequency of leukodystrophies previously considered very rare suggests these disorders may benefit from expanded carrier screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61641DOI Listing
August 2020

mutations result in both glial and neuronal degeneration in an H-ABC leukodystrophy mouse model.

Elife 2020 05 28;9. Epub 2020 May 28.

Department of Neurology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, United States.

Mutations in result in a spectrum of leukodystrophy including Hypomyelination with Atrophy of Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum (H-ABC), a rare hypomyelinating leukodystrophy, often associated with a recurring variant p.Asp249Asn (D249N). We have developed a novel knock-in mouse model harboring heterozygous () and the homozygous () mutation that recapitulate the progressive motor dysfunction with tremor, dystonia and ataxia seen in H-ABC. mice have myelination deficits along with dramatic decrease in mature oligodendrocytes and their progenitor cells. Additionally, a significant loss occurs in the cerebellar granular neurons and striatal neurons in mice. In vitro studies show decreased survival and dysfunction in microtubule dynamics in neurons from mice. Thus mice demonstrate the complex cellular physiology of H-ABC, likely due to independent effects on oligodendrocytes, striatal neurons, and cerebellar granule cells in the context of altered microtubule dynamics, with profound neurodevelopmental deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.52986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7255805PMC
May 2020

Epilepsy and Electroencephalographic Abnormalities in SATB2-Associated Syndrome.

Pediatr Neurol 2020 11 13;112:94-100. Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Seizures are an under-reported feature of the SATB2-associated syndrome phenotype. We describe the electroencephalographic findings and seizure semiology and treatment in a population of individuals with SATB2-associated syndrome.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 101 individuals with SATB2-associated syndrome who were reported to have had a previous electroencephalographic study to identify those who had at least one reported abnormal result. For completeness, a supplemental survey was distributed to the caregivers and input from the treating neurologist was obtained whenever possible.

Results: Forty-one subjects were identified as having at least one prior abnormal electroencephalography. Thirty-eight individuals (93%) had epileptiform discharges, 28 (74%) with central localization. Sleep stages were included as part of the electroencephalographies performed in 31 individuals (76%), and epileptiform activity was recorded during sleep in all instances (100%). Definite clinical seizures were diagnosed in 17 individuals (42%) with a mean age of onset of 3.2 years (four months to six years), and focal seizures were the most common type of seizure observed (42%). Six subjects with definite clinical seizures needed polytherapy (35%). Delayed myelination and/or abnormal white matter hyperintensities were seen on neuroimaging in 19 individuals (61%).

Conclusions: Epileptiform abnormalities are commonly seen in individuals with SATB2-associated syndrome. A baseline electroencephalography that preferably includes sleep stages is recommended during the initial evaluation of all individuals with SATB2-associated syndrome, regardless of clinical suspicion of epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2020.04.006DOI Listing
November 2020

Phenotypic and Imaging Spectrum Associated With WDR45.

Pediatr Neurol 2020 08 11;109:56-62. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: Mutations in the X-linked gene WDR45 cause neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation type 5. Global developmental delay occurs at an early age with slow progression to dystonia, parkinsonism, and dementia due to progressive iron accumulation in the brain.

Methods: We present 17 new cases and reviewed 106 reported cases of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation type 5. Detailed information related to developmental history and key time to event measures was collected.

Results: Within this cohort, there were 19 males. Most individuals were molecularly diagnosed by whole-exome testing. Overall 10 novel variants were identified across 11 subjects. All individuals were affected by developmental delay, most prominently in verbal skills. Most individuals experienced a decline in motor and cognitive skills. Although most individuals were affected by seizures, the spectrum ranged from provoked seizures to intractable epilepsy. The imaging findings varied as well, often evolving over time. The classic iron accumulation in the globus pallidus and substantia nigra was noted in half of our cohort and was associated with older age of image acquisition, whereas myelination abnormalities were associated with younger age.

Conclusions: WDR45 mutations lead to a progressive and evolving disorder whose diagnosis is often delayed. Developmental delay and seizures predominate in early childhood, followed by a progressive decline of neurological function. There is variable expressivity in the clinical phenotypes of individuals with WDR45 mutations, suggesting that this gene should be considered in the diagnostic evaluation of children with myelination abnormalities, iron deposition, developmental delay, and epilepsy depending on the age at evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2020.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7387198PMC
August 2020

De novo mutations in TOMM70, a receptor of the mitochondrial import translocase, cause neurological impairment.

Hum Mol Genet 2020 06;29(9):1568-1579

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

The translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane (TOMM) complex is the entry gate for virtually all mitochondrial proteins and is essential to build the mitochondrial proteome. TOMM70 is a receptor that assists mainly in mitochondrial protein import. Here, we report two individuals with de novo variants in the C-terminal region of TOMM70. While both individuals exhibited shared symptoms including hypotonia, hyper-reflexia, ataxia, dystonia and significant white matter abnormalities, there were differences between the two individuals, most prominently the age of symptom onset. Both individuals were undiagnosed despite extensive genetics workups. Individual 1 was found to have a p.Thr607Ile variant while Individual 2 was found to have a p.Ile554Phe variant in TOMM70. To functionally assess both TOMM70 variants, we replaced the Drosophila Tom70 coding region with a Kozak-mini-GAL4 transgene using CRISPR-Cas9. Homozygous mutant animals die as pupae, but lethality is rescued by the mini-GAL4-driven expression of human UAS-TOMM70 cDNA. Both modeled variants lead to significantly less rescue indicating that they are loss-of-function alleles. Similarly, RNAi-mediated knockdown of Tom70 in the developing eye causes roughening and synaptic transmission defect, common findings in neurodegenerative and mitochondrial disorders. These phenotypes were rescued by the reference, but not the variants, of TOMM70. Altogether, our data indicate that de novo loss-of-function variants in TOMM70 result in variable white matter disease and neurological phenotypes in affected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddaa081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268787PMC
June 2020

Randomized Clinical Trial of First-Line Genome Sequencing in Pediatric White Matter Disorders.

Ann Neurol 2020 08 9;88(2):264-273. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Illumina, San Diego, California, USA.

Objective: Genome sequencing (GS) is promising for unsolved leukodystrophies, but its efficacy has not been prospectively studied.

Methods: A prospective time-delayed crossover design trial of GS to assess the efficacy of GS as a first-line diagnostic tool for genetic white matter disorders took place between December 1, 2015 and September 27, 2017. Patients were randomized to receive GS immediately with concurrent standard of care (SoC) testing, or to receive SoC testing for 4 months followed by GS.

Results: Thirty-four individuals were assessed at interim review. The genetic origin of 2 patient's leukoencephalopathy was resolved before randomization. Nine patients were stratified to the immediate intervention group and 23 patients to the delayed-GS arm. The efficacy of GS was significant relative to SoC in the immediate (5/9 [56%] vs 0/9 [0%]; Wild-Seber, p < 0.005) and delayed (control) arms (14/23 [61%] vs 5/23 [22%]; Wild-Seber, p < 0.005). The time to diagnosis was significantly shorter in the immediate-GS group (log-rank test, p = 0.04). The overall diagnostic efficacy of combined GS and SoC approaches was 26 of 34 (76.5%, 95% confidence interval = 58.8-89.3%) in <4 months, greater than historical norms of <50% over 5 years. Owing to loss of clinical equipoise, the trial design was altered to a single-arm observational study.

Interpretation: In this study, first-line GS provided earlier and greater diagnostic efficacy in white matter disorders. We provide an evidence-based diagnostic testing algorithm to enable appropriate clinical GS utilization in this population. ANN NEUROL 2020;88:264-273.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061316PMC
August 2020

Development of a neurologic severity scale for Aicardi Goutières Syndrome.

Mol Genet Metab 2020 06 2;130(2):153-160. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, United States.

Background And Purpose: Aicardi Goutières Syndrome (AGS) is a severe, autoinflammatory leukodystrophy characterized by global neurologic dysfunction. Our goal was to create an easy-to-apply scale relevant to the unique developmental challenges associated with AGS.

Methods: All individuals were recruited through our natural history study. Individuals were classified by AGS severity as mild, moderate, or severe, and clinical encounters were assigned a composite score for neurologic function calculated from the sum of three functional classification scales. Through expert consensus, we identified 11 key items to reflect the severity of AGS across gross motor, fine motor, and cognitive skills to create the AGS Scale. There was strong interrater reliability. The AGS scale was applied across available medical records to evaluate neurologic function over time. The AGS scale was compared to performance on a standard measure of gross motor function (Gross Motor Function Measure-88, GMFM-88) and a putative diagnostic biomarker of disease, the interferon signaling gene expression score (ISG).

Results: The AGS scale score correlated with severity classifications and the composite neurologic function scores. When retrospectively applied across our natural history study, the majority of individuals demonstrated an initial decline in function followed by stable scores. Within the first 6 months of disease, the AGS score was the most dynamic. The AGS scale correlated with performance by the GMFM-88, but did not correlate with ISG levels.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the utility of the AGS scale as a multimodal tool for the assessment of neurologic function in AGS. The AGS scale correlates with clinical severity and with a more labor-intensive tool, GMFM-88. This study underscores the limitations of the ISG score as a marker of disease severity. With the AGS scale, we found that AGS neurologic severity is the most dynamic early in disease. This novel AGS scale is a promising tool to longitudinally follow neurologic function in this unique population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.03.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7366613PMC
June 2020

Type II Alexander disease caused by splicing errors and aberrant overexpression of an uncharacterized GFAP isoform.

Hum Mutat 2020 06 11;41(6):1131-1137. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Murdoch Children's Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia.

Alexander disease results from gain-of-function mutations in the gene encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). At least eight GFAP isoforms have been described, however, the predominant alpha isoform accounts for ∼90% of GFAP protein. We describe exonic variants identified in three unrelated families with Type II Alexander disease that alter the splicing of GFAP pre-messenger RNA (mRNA) and result in the upregulation of a previously uncharacterized GFAP lambda isoform (NM_001363846.1). Affected members of Family 1 and Family 2 shared the same missense variant, NM_001363846.1:c.1289G>A;p.(Arg430His) while in Family 3 we identified a synonymous variant in the adjacent nucleotide, NM_001363846.1:c.1290C>A;p.(Arg430Arg). Using RNA and protein analysis of brain autopsy samples, and a mini-gene splicing reporter assay, we demonstrate both variants result in the upregulation of the lambda isoform. Our approach demonstrates the importance of characterizing the effect of GFAP variants on mRNA splicing to inform future pathophysiologic and therapeutic study for Alexander disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491703PMC
June 2020

Hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia: A rare association of vanishing white matter disease.

JIMD Rep 2020 Jan 12;51(1):11-16. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Metabolic Medicine Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne Australia.

We report two unrelated patients with infantile onset leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM) and hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia. To our knowledge, this association has not been described previously. Both patients had compound heterozygous pathogenic variants in detected on exome sequencing and absence of other variants which might explain the hyperinsulinism. Hypoglycaemia became apparent at 6 and 8 months, respectively, although in one patient, transient neonatal hypoglycaemia was also documented. One patient responded to diazoxide and the other was managed with continuous nasogastric feeding. We hypothesise that the pathophysiology of hyperinsulinism in VWM may involve dysregulation of transcription of genes related to insulin secretion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmd2.12081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7012737PMC
January 2020

Associations of paediatric demyelinating and encephalitic syndromes with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies: a multicentre observational study.

Lancet Neurol 2020 03 10;19(3):234-246. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Neuroimmunology Program, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Investigations of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies are usually focused on demyelinating syndromes, but the entire spectrum of MOG antibody-associated syndromes in children is unknown. In this study, we aimed to determine the frequency and distribution of paediatric demyelinating and encephalitic syndromes with MOG antibodies, their response to treatment, and the phenotypes associated with poor prognosis.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, children with demyelinating syndromes and with encephalitis other than acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) recruited from 40 secondary and tertiary centres in Spain were investigated for MOG antibodies. All MOG antibody-positive cases were included in our study, which assessed syndromes, treatment and response to treatment (ie, number of relapses), outcomes (measured with the modified Rankin scale [mRS]), and phenotypes associated with poor prognosis. We used Fisher's exact and Wilcoxon rank sum tests to analyse clinical features, and survival Cox regression to analyse time to antibody negativity.

Findings: Between June 1, 2013, and Dec 31, 2018, 239 children with demyelinating syndromes (cohort A) and 296 with encephalitis other than ADEM (cohort B) were recruited. 116 patients had MOG antibodies, including 94 (39%) from cohort A and 22 (7%) from cohort B; 57 (49%) were female, with a median age of 6·2 years (IQR 3·7-10·0). Presenting syndromes in these 116 patients included ADEM (46 [68%]), encephalitis other than ADEM (22 [19%]), optic neuritis (20 [17%]), myelitis (13 [11%]), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (six [5%]), and other disorders (nine [8%]). Among the patients with autoimmune encephalitis in cohort B (n=64), MOG antibodies were more common than all neuronal antibodies combined (22 [34%] vs 21 [33%]). After a median follow-up of 42 months (IQR 22-67), 33 (28%) of the 116 patients had relapses, including 17 (17%) of 100 diagnosed at first episode. Steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, or plasma exchange were used in 100 (86%) patients at diagnosis, and 32 (97%) of 33 at relapses. Rituximab was mainly used at relapses (11 [33%]). 99 (85%) of 116 patients had substantial recovery (mRS <2) and 17 (15%) moderate to severe deficits (mRS >2; one died). Phenotypes of poor prognosis included ADEM-like relapses progressing to leukodystrophy-like features, and extensive cortical encephalitis evolving to atrophy. Time to antibody negativity was longer in patients with relapses (HR 0·18, 95% CI 0·05-0·59).

Interpretation: The spectrum of paediatric MOG antibody-associated syndromes is wider than previously reported and includes demyelinating syndromes and encephalitis. Recognition of these disorders has important clinical and prognostic implications.

Funding: Mutua Madrileña Foundation; ISCIII-Subdirección General de Evaluación y Fomento de la Investigación Sanitaria; Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional; Pediatrics Spanish Society; Departament de Salut, Generalitat de Catalunya; Marato TV3 Foundation; Red Española de Esclerosis Múltiple; La Caixa Foundation; and Fundació CELLEX.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(19)30488-0DOI Listing
March 2020

Clinical spectrum of POLR3-related leukodystrophy caused by biallelic pathogenic variants.

Neurol Genet 2019 Dec 30;5(6):e369. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (L.G., L.T.T., K.G., G.B.), McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Department of Pediatrics (L.G., L.T.T., K.G., G.B.), McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Division of Clinical and Metabolic Genetics and Division of Neurology (L.G., G.Y.), The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Department of Child Neurology (F.K.C., M.S.V.D.K., N.I.W.), Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical Genetics (F.K.C., R.M.V.S.), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Human Genetics (F.K.C.), Center for Biomedical Research, Diponegoro University, Semarang, Indonesia; Department of Pediatrics (L.S.), Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary; Child Health and Human Development Program (L.T.T., K.G., G.B.), Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada; Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Specialized Medicine (L.T.T., K.G., G.B.), McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Canada; Centre de Référence Neurogénétique (F.H., C.G.), Service de Génétique, CHU Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; Department of Pediatrics (E.L.F.), Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Developmental Neurology Department (S.D.A.), Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. Besta, Milan, Italy; Neuroscience and Neurorehabilitation Department (G.V.), Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy; Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine (I.T.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO; University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine (I.T.), Kansas City, MO; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (I.T.), Children's Mercy Hospitals, Kansas City, MO; Department of Pediatrics (D.M.N.), Section of Medical Genetics, Ochsner for Children, New Orleans, LA; GeneDx (R.P.), Gaithersburg, MD; Division of Neurology (K.S.L.), Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ; Department of Pediatric Neurology (E.W.), Birmingham Children's Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Department of Medical Genetics (T.P.), Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway; Department of Paediatric Neurology (P.F.), St Georges University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom; Clinical Genetics Service (M.M.), St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom; Clinical Genetics Department (J.R.), Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Trust, Exeter, United Kingdom; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (R.W.), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Center of Developmental Neurology (H.P.), Frankfurt, Germany; Department of Neurology (B.V.D.W.), Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Neurology (D.T.), Essen University Hospital, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany; Department of Clinical Genetics (A.D., C.S.), Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, United Kingdom; Wellcome Sanger Institute (DDD Study), Wellcome Genome Campus, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Department of Pediatrics (N.T.), Division of Child Neurology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, United States of America; Movement Disorders Center and Neurogenetics Research Program (M.C.K.), Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ; Program in Neuroscience (M.C.K.), Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States of America; Division of Neurology (S.S.), Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, New Delhi, India; Division of Neurology (A.V.), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Department of Neurology (A.V.), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States of America; Department of Child Neurology (D.T.), Neurological Institute C. Besta Foundation IRCCS, Milan, Italy; Department of Functional Genomics (M.S.V.D.K.), VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Unit of Neuromuscular and Neurodegenerative Disorders (E.B.), Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, Rome, Italy; Laboratoire MRGM, INSERM U1211, University Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; Université de Bordeaux (S.F.), INSERM U1212, CNRS 5320, Bordeaux, France; and Department of Human Genetics (G.B.), McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Objective: To determine the clinical, radiologic, and molecular characteristics of RNA polymerase III-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD) caused by biallelic pathogenic variants.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted. Clinical and molecular information was collected on 23 unreported and previously reported patients with POLR3-HLD and biallelic pathogenic variants in . Brain MRI studies were reviewed.

Results: Fourteen female and 9 male patients aged 7 days to 23 years were included in the study. Most participants presented early in life (birth to 6 years), and motor deterioration was seen during childhood. A notable proportion of patients required a wheelchair before adolescence, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described in POLR3-HLD. Dental, ocular, and endocrine features were not invariably present (70%, 50%, and 50%, respectively). Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including 1 individual with clear Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) features. Brain MRI revealed hypomyelination in all cases, often with areas of pronounced T2 hyperintensity corresponding to T1 hypointensity of the white matter. Twenty-nine different pathogenic variants (including 12 new disease-causing variants) in were identified.

Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive description of POLR3-HLD caused by biallelic pathogenic variants based on the largest cohort of patients to date. These results suggest distinct characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6927361PMC
December 2019

Metachromatic leukodystrophy and transplantation: remyelination, no cross-correction.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 02 22;7(2):169-180. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Child Neurology, Center for Childhood White Matter Diseases, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Amsterdam Neuroscience, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: In metachromatic leukodystrophy, a lysosomal storage disorder due to decreased arylsulfatase A activity, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation may stop brain demyelination and allow remyelination, thereby halting white matter degeneration. This is the first study to define the effects and therapeutic mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation on brain tissue of transplanted metachromatic leukodystrophy patients.

Methods: Autopsy brain tissue was obtained from eight (two transplanted and six nontransplanted) metachromatic leukodystrophy patients, and two age-matched controls. We examined the presence of donor cells by immunohistochemistry and microscopy. In addition, we assessed myelin content, oligodendrocyte numbers, and macrophage phenotypes. An unpaired t-test, linear regression or the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-test was performed to evaluate differences between the transplanted, nontransplanted, and control group.

Results: In brain tissue of transplanted patients, we found metabolically competent donor macrophages expressing arylsulfatase A distributed throughout the entire white matter. Compared to nontransplanted patients, these macrophages preferentially expressed markers of alternatively activated, anti-inflammatory cells that may support oligodendrocyte survival and differentiation. Additionally, transplanted patients showed higher numbers of oligodendrocytes and evidence for remyelination. Contrary to the current hypothesis on therapeutic mechanism of hematopoietic cell transplantation in metachromatic leukodystrophy, we detected no enzymatic cross-correction to resident astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.

Interpretation: In conclusion, donor macrophages are able to digest accumulated sulfatides and may play a neuroprotective role for resident oligodendrocytes, thereby enabling remyelination, albeit without evidence of cross-correction of oligo- and astroglia. These results emphasize the importance of immunomodulation in addition to the metabolic correction, which might be exploited for improved outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.50975DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7034505PMC
February 2020
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