Publications by authors named "Britt Marie Anderlid"

79 Publications

High diagnostic yield in skeletal ciliopathies using massively parallel genome sequencing, structural variant screening and RNA analyses.

J Hum Genet 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, and Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Laboratory, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Skeletal ciliopathies are a heterogenous group of disorders with overlapping clinical and radiographic features including bone dysplasia and internal abnormalities. To date, pathogenic variants in at least 30 genes, coding for different structural cilia proteins, are reported to cause skeletal ciliopathies. Here, we summarize genetic and phenotypic features of 34 affected individuals from 29 families with skeletal ciliopathies. Molecular diagnostic testing was performed using massively parallel sequencing (MPS) in combination with copy number variant (CNV) analyses and in silico filtering for variants in known skeletal ciliopathy genes. We identified biallelic disease-causing variants in seven genes: DYNC2H1, KIAA0753, WDR19, C2CD3, TTC21B, EVC, and EVC2. Four variants located in non-canonical splice sites of DYNC2H1, EVC, and KIAA0753 led to aberrant splicing that was shown by sequencing of cDNA. Furthermore, CNV analyses showed an intragenic deletion of DYNC2H1 in one individual and a 6.7 Mb de novo deletion on chromosome 1q24q25 in another. In five unsolved cases, MPS was performed in family setting. In one proband we identified a de novo variant in PRKACA and in another we found a homozygous intragenic deletion of IFT74, removing the first coding exon and leading to expression of a shorter message predicted to result in loss of 40 amino acids at the N-terminus. These findings establish IFT74 as a new skeletal ciliopathy gene. In conclusion, combined single nucleotide variant, CNV and cDNA analyses lead to a high yield of genetic diagnoses (90%) in a cohort of patients with skeletal ciliopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s10038-021-00925-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Integration of whole genome sequencing into a healthcare setting: high diagnostic rates across multiple clinical entities in 3219 rare disease patients.

Genome Med 2021 Mar 17;13(1):40. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Science for Life Laboratory, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health, KTH Royal Institutet of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: We report the findings from 4437 individuals (3219 patients and 1218 relatives) who have been analyzed by whole genome sequencing (WGS) at the Genomic Medicine Center Karolinska-Rare Diseases (GMCK-RD) since mid-2015. GMCK-RD represents a long-term collaborative initiative between Karolinska University Hospital and Science for Life Laboratory to establish advanced, genomics-based diagnostics in the Stockholm healthcare setting.

Methods: Our analysis covers detection and interpretation of SNVs, INDELs, uniparental disomy, CNVs, balanced structural variants, and short tandem repeat expansions. Visualization of results for clinical interpretation is carried out in Scout-a custom-developed decision support system. Results from both singleton (84%) and trio/family (16%) analyses are reported. Variant interpretation is done by 15 expert teams at the hospital involving staff from three clinics. For patients with complex phenotypes, data is shared between the teams.

Results: Overall, 40% of the patients received a molecular diagnosis ranging from 19 to 54% for specific disease groups. There was heterogeneity regarding causative genes (n = 754) with some of the most common ones being COL2A1 (n = 12; skeletal dysplasia), SCN1A (n = 8; epilepsy), and TNFRSF13B (n = 4; inborn errors of immunity). Some causative variants were recurrent, including previously known founder mutations, some novel mutations, and recurrent de novo mutations. Overall, GMCK-RD has resulted in a large number of patients receiving specific molecular diagnoses. Furthermore, negative cases have been included in research studies that have resulted in the discovery of 17 published, novel disease-causing genes. To facilitate the discovery of new disease genes, GMCK-RD has joined international data sharing initiatives, including ClinVar, UDNI, Beacon, and MatchMaker Exchange.

Conclusions: Clinical WGS at GMCK-RD has provided molecular diagnoses to over 1200 individuals with a broad range of rare diseases. Consolidation and spread of this clinical-academic partnership will enable large-scale national collaboration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00855-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968334PMC
March 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

Lissencephaly in an epilepsy cohort: Molecular, radiological and clinical aspects.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2021 Jan 8;30:71-81. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Introduction: Lissencephaly is a rare malformation of cortical development due to abnormal transmantle migration resulting in absent or reduced gyration. The lissencephaly spectrum consists of agyria, pachygyria and subcortical band heterotopia. In this study we compared genetic aetiology, neuroradiology, clinical phenotype and response to antiepileptic drugs in patients with epilepsy and lissencephaly spectrum malformations.

Methods: The study group consisted of 20 patients - 13 males and 7 females, aged 18 months to 21 years at the time of data collection. Genetic testing was performed by oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (microarray), multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), targeted gene panels and whole exome/genome sequencing. All neuroradiological investigations were re-evaluated and the malformations were classified by the same neuroradiologist. Clinical features and response to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) were evaluated by retrospective review of medical records.

Results: In eleven patients (55%) mutations in PAFAH1B1 (LIS1) or variable microdeletions of 17p13.3 including the PAFAH1B1 gene were detected. Four patients (20%) had tubulin encoding gene mutations (TUBA1A, TUBG1 and TUBGCP6). Mutations in DCX, DYNC1H1, ADGRG1 and WDR62 were identified in single patients. In one patient, a possibly pathogenic intragenic deletion in TRIO was detected. A clear radiologic distinction could be made between tubulinopathies and PAFAH1B1 related lissencephaly. The majority of the patients had therapy resistant epilepsy and epileptic spasms was the most prominent seizure type. The best therapeutic response to seizure control in our cohort was obtained by the ketogenic diet, vigabatrin, clobazam, phenobarbital and valproate.

Conclusion: The most common genetic aetiologies in our cohort of 20 individuals with epilepsy and lissencephaly spectrum were intragenic deletions or single nucleotide mutations in PAFAH1B1 or larger deletions in 17p13.3, encompassing PAFAH1B1, followed by mutations in tubulin encoding genes. Radiological findings could reliably predict molecular results only in agyria with a posterior to anterior gradient. Radiological and molecular findings did not correlate consistently with severity of clinical outcome or therapeutic response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2020.12.011DOI Listing
January 2021

JARID2 haploinsufficiency is associated with a clinically distinct neurodevelopmental syndrome.

Genet Med 2021 Feb 20;23(2):374-383. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Purpose: JARID2, located on chromosome 6p22.3, is a regulator of histone methyltransferase complexes that is expressed in human neurons. So far, 13 individuals sharing clinical features including intellectual disability (ID) were reported with de novo heterozygous deletions in 6p22-p24 encompassing the full length JARID2 gene (OMIM 601594). However, all published individuals to date have a deletion of at least one other adjoining gene, making it difficult to determine if JARID2 is the critical gene responsible for the shared features. We aim to confirm JARID2 as a human disease gene and further elucidate the associated clinical phenotype.

Methods: Chromosome microarray analysis, exome sequencing, and an online matching platform (GeneMatcher) were used to identify individuals with single-nucleotide variants or deletions involving JARID2.

Results: We report 16 individuals in 15 families with a deletion or single-nucleotide variant in JARID2. Several of these variants are likely to result in haploinsufficiency due to nonsense-mediated messenger RNA (mRNA) decay. All individuals have developmental delay and/or ID and share some overlapping clinical characteristics such as facial features with those who have larger deletions involving JARID2.

Conclusion: We report that JARID2 haploinsufficiency leads to a clinically distinct neurodevelopmental syndrome, thus establishing gene-disease validity for the purpose of diagnostic reporting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-00992-zDOI Listing
February 2021

Large-scale targeted sequencing identifies risk genes for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Nat Commun 2020 10 1;11(1):4932. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Oasi Research Institute-IRCCS, Troina, Italy.

Most genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) were identified with an excess of de novo mutations (DNMs) but the significance in case-control mutation burden analysis is unestablished. Here, we sequence 63 genes in 16,294 NDD cases and an additional 62 genes in 6,211 NDD cases. By combining these with published data, we assess a total of 125 genes in over 16,000 NDD cases and compare the mutation burden to nonpsychiatric controls from ExAC. We identify 48 genes (25 newly reported) showing significant burden of ultra-rare (MAF < 0.01%) gene-disruptive mutations (FDR 5%), six of which reach family-wise error rate (FWER) significance (p < 1.25E-06). Among these 125 targeted genes, we also reevaluate DNM excess in 17,426 NDD trios with 6,499 new autism trios. We identify 90 genes enriched for DNMs (FDR 5%; e.g., GABRG2 and UIMC1); of which, 61 reach FWER significance (p < 3.64E-07; e.g., CASZ1). In addition to doubling the number of patients for many NDD risk genes, we present phenotype-genotype correlations for seven risk genes (CTCF, HNRNPU, KCNQ3, ZBTB18, TCF12, SPEN, and LEO1) based on this large-scale targeted sequencing effort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18723-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7530681PMC
October 2020

Epilepsy syndromes, etiologies, and the use of next-generation sequencing in epilepsy presenting in the first 2 years of life: A population-based study.

Epilepsia 2020 11 23;61(11):2486-2499. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objective: Population-based data on epilepsy syndromes and etiologies in early onset epilepsy are scarce. The use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has hitherto not been reported in this context. The aim of this study is to describe children with epilepsy onset before 2 years of age, and to explore to what degree whole exome and whole genome sequencing (WES/WGS) can help reveal a molecular genetic diagnosis.

Methods: Children presenting with a first unprovoked epileptic seizure before age 2 years and registered in the Stockholm Incidence Registry of Epilepsy (SIRE) between September 1, 2001 and December 31, 2006, were retrieved and their medical records up to age 7 years reviewed. Children who met the epilepsy criteria were included in the study cohort. WES/WGS was offered in cases of suspected genetic etiology regardless of whether a structural or metabolic diagnosis had been established.

Results: One hundred sixteen children were included, of which 88 had seizure onset during the first year of life and 28 during the second, corresponding to incidences of 139 and 42/100 000 person-years, respectively. An epilepsy syndrome could be diagnosed in 54% of cases, corresponding to a birth prevalence of 1/1100. Structural etiology was revealed in 34% of cases, a genetic cause in 20%, and altogether etiology was known in 65% of children. The highest diagnostic yield was seen in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with 65% revealing an etiology. WES/WGS was performed in 26/116 cases (22%), with a diagnostic yield of 58%.

Significance: Epilepsy syndromes can be diagnosed and etiologies revealed in a majority of early onset cases. NGS can identify a molecular diagnosis in a substantial number of children, and should be included in the work-up, especially in cases of epileptic encephalopathy, cerebral malformation, or metabolic disease without molecular diagnosis. A genetic diagnosis is essential to genetic counselling, prenatal diagnostics, and precision therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16701DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756847PMC
November 2020

Presynaptic dysfunction in CASK-related neurodevelopmental disorders.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 09 14;10(1):312. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Division of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, and Center for Psychiatry Research, Region Stockholm, Sweden.

CASK-related disorders are genetically defined neurodevelopmental syndromes. There is limited information about the effects of CASK mutations in human neurons. Therefore, we sought to delineate CASK-mutation consequences and neuronal effects using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from two mutation carriers. One male case with autism spectrum disorder carried a novel splice-site mutation and a female case with intellectual disability carried an intragenic tandem duplication. We show reduction of CASK protein in maturing neurons from the mutation carriers, which leads to significant downregulation of genes involved in presynaptic development and of CASK protein interactors. Furthermore, CASK-deficient neurons showed decreased inhibitory presynapse size as indicated by VGAT staining, which may alter the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance in developing neural circuitries. Using in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy quantification of GABA in the male mutation carrier, we further highlight the possibility to validate in vitro cellular data in the brain. Our data show that future pharmacological and clinical studies on targeting presynapses and E/I imbalance could lead to specific treatments for CASK-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-00994-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7490425PMC
September 2020

Clinical versus automated assessments of morphological variants in twins with and without neurodevelopmental disorders.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 05 12;182(5):1177-1189. Epub 2020 Mar 12.

Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Division of Neuropsychiatry, Centre for Psychiatry Research; Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm, Sweden.

Physical examinations are recommended as part of a comprehensive evaluation for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. These examinations should include assessment for morphological variants. Previous studies have shown an increase in morphological variants in individuals with NDDs, particularly ASD, and that these variants may be present in greater amounts in individuals with genetic alterations. Unfortunately, assessment for morphological variants can be subjective and time-consuming, and require a high degree of clinical expertise. Therefore, objective, automated methods of morphological assessment are desirable. This study compared the use of Face2Gene, an automated tool to explore facial morphological variants, to clinical consensus assessment, using a cohort of N = 290 twins enriched for NDDs (n = 135 with NDD diagnoses). Agreement between automated and clinical assessments were satisfactory to complete (78.3-100%). In our twin sample, individuals with NDDs did not have greater numbers of facial morphological variants when compared to those with typical development, nor when controlling for shared genetic and environmental factors within twin pairs. Common facial morphological variants in those with and without NDDs were similar and included thick upper lip vermilion, abnormality of the nasal tip, long face, and upslanted palpebral fissure. We conclude that although facial morphological variants can be assessed reliably in NDDs with automated tools like Face2Gene, clinical utility is limited when just exploring the facial region. Therefore, currently, automated assessments may best complement, rather than replace, in-person clinical assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61545DOI Listing
May 2020

Whole genome sequencing unveils genetic heterogeneity in optic nerve hypoplasia.

PLoS One 2020 10;15(2):e0228622. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH) is a congenital malformation with a reduced number of retinal ganglion cell axons in a thin optic nerve. It is a common cause of visual impairment in children and ONH is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, pituitary hormone deficiencies, and brain malformations. In most cases, the aetiology is unknown, but both environmental factors and genetic causes have been described. This study aimed to identify genetic variants underlying ONH in a well-characterised cohort of individuals with ONH. We performed array comparative genomic hybridization and whole genome sequencing in 29 individuals with ONH. Rare variants were verified by Sanger sequencing and inheritance was assessed in parental samples. We identified 11 rare single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in ten individuals, including a homozygous variant in KIF7 (previously associated with Joubert syndrome), a heterozygous de novo variant in COL4A1 (previously described in an individual with porencephaly), and a homozygous variant in COL4A2. In addition, one individual harboured a heterozygous variant in OPA1 and a heterozygous variant in COL4A1, both were inherited and assessed as variants of unknown clinical significance. Finally, a heterozygous deletion of 341 kb involving exons 7-18 of SOX5 (associated with Lamb-Schaffer syndrome) was identified in one individual. The overall diagnostic yield of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in individuals with ONH using whole genome sequencing was 4/29 (14%). Our results show that there is a genetic heterogeneity in ONH and indicate that genetic causes of ONH are not rare. We conclude that genetic testing is valuable in a substantial proportion of the individuals with ONH, especially in cases with non-isolated ONH.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228622PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010252PMC
May 2020

Variable neurodevelopmental and morphological phenotypes of carriers with 12q12 duplications.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 01 15;8(1):e1013. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Variable size deletions affecting 12q12 have been found in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and distinct facial and physical features. For many genetic loci affected by deletions in individuals with NDDs, reciprocal duplications have been described. However, for the 12q12 region, there are no detailed descriptions of duplication cases in the literature.

Methods: We report a phenotypic description of a family with monozygotic twins diagnosed with NDDs, carrying a 9 Mb duplication at 12q12, and five other individuals with overlapping duplications ranging from 4.54 Mb up to 15.16 Mb.

Results: The duplication carriers had language delays, cognitive delays, and were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, distinct facial features (e.g., high foreheads, deeply set eyes, short palpebral fissures, small ears, high nasal bridges, abnormalities of the nose tip, thin lips), large feet, and abnormalities in the digits were noted. We also describe incomplete penetrance of the NDD phenotypes among the individuals with 12q12 duplication.

Conclusion: This case series expands our knowledge on this rare genetic aberration and suggests that large 12q12 duplications may increase the risk for developing NDDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6978403PMC
January 2020

From cytogenetics to cytogenomics: whole-genome sequencing as a first-line test comprehensively captures the diverse spectrum of disease-causing genetic variation underlying intellectual disability.

Genome Med 2019 11 7;11(1):68. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Since different types of genetic variants, from single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to large chromosomal rearrangements, underlie intellectual disability, we evaluated the use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) rather than chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) as a first-line genetic diagnostic test.

Methods: We analyzed three cohorts with short-read WGS: (i) a retrospective cohort with validated copy number variants (CNVs) (cohort 1, n = 68), (ii) individuals referred for monogenic multi-gene panels (cohort 2, n = 156), and (iii) 100 prospective, consecutive cases referred to our center for CMA (cohort 3). Bioinformatic tools developed include FindSV, SVDB, Rhocall, Rhoviz, and vcf2cytosure.

Results: First, we validated our structural variant (SV)-calling pipeline on cohort 1, consisting of three trisomies and 79 deletions and duplications with a median size of 850 kb (min 500 bp, max 155 Mb). All variants were detected. Second, we utilized the same pipeline in cohort 2 and analyzed with monogenic WGS panels, increasing the diagnostic yield to 8%. Next, cohort 3 was analyzed by both CMA and WGS. The WGS data was processed for large (> 10 kb) SVs genome-wide and for exonic SVs and SNVs in a panel of 887 genes linked to intellectual disability as well as genes matched to patient-specific Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) phenotypes. This yielded a total of 25 pathogenic variants (SNVs or SVs), of which 12 were detected by CMA as well. We also applied short tandem repeat (STR) expansion detection and discovered one pathologic expansion in ATXN7. Finally, a case of Prader-Willi syndrome with uniparental disomy (UPD) was validated in the WGS data. Important positional information was obtained in all cohorts. Remarkably, 7% of the analyzed cases harbored complex structural variants, as exemplified by a ring chromosome and two duplications found to be an insertional translocation and part of a cryptic unbalanced translocation, respectively.

Conclusion: The overall diagnostic rate of 27% was more than doubled compared to clinical microarray (12%). Using WGS, we detected a wide range of SVs with high accuracy. Since the WGS data also allowed for analysis of SNVs, UPD, and STRs, it represents a powerful comprehensive genetic test in a clinical diagnostic laboratory setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-019-0675-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836550PMC
November 2019

Ataxia in Patients With Bi-Allelic Mutations and Absence of Full-Length NF186.

Front Genet 2019 24;10:896. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Biomedicum, Stockholm, Sweden.

The etiology of hereditary ataxia syndromes is heterogeneous, and the mechanisms underlying these disorders are often unknown. Here, we utilized exome sequencing in two siblings with progressive ataxia and muscular weakness and identified a novel homozygous splice mutation (c.3020-1G > A) in neurofascin (). In RNA extracted from fibroblasts, we showed that the mutation resulted in inframe skipping of exon 26, with a deprived expression of the full-length transcript that corresponds to isoform NF186. To further investigate the disease mechanisms, we reprogrammed fibroblasts from one affected sibling to induced pluripotent stem cells, directed them to neuroepithelial stem cells and finally differentiated to neurons. In early neurogenesis, differentiating cells with selective depletion of the NF186 isoform showed significantly reduced neurite outgrowth as well as fewer emerging neurites. Furthermore, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of patient-derived neuronal cells revealed a lower threshold for openings, indicating altered Na channel kinetics, suggesting a lower threshold for openings as compared to neuronal cells without the mutation. Taken together, our results suggest that loss of the full-length isoform NF186 causes perturbed neurogenesis and impaired neuronal biophysical properties resulting in a novel early-onset autosomal recessive ataxia syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00896DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769111PMC
September 2019

HLA Polymorphism in Regressive and Non-Regressive Autism: A Preliminary Study.

Autism Res 2020 02 8;13(2):182-186. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprises heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions with symptom onset usually during infancy. However, about 10%-30% of affected cases experience a loss of language and social skills around 18-30 months, so-called regressive autism. In this subset with regression, immune dysfunctions including inflammation and autoimmunity have been proposed to be at risk factors. Given the implication of the human histocompatibility antigens (HLA) system in various aspects of immune responses, including autoimmunity, and in ASD, we investigate here the distribution of the HLA Class I and Class II haplotypes in 131 children with ASD meeting DSM-IV TR criteria, with and without regression. We found that 62 of the 98 non-regressive ASD patients carry the HLA-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 sub-haplotype as compared to 14 of the 33 patients with regression (63% vs. 43% respectively, Pc = 0.02), suggesting that this HLA haplotype may exert a protective effect against regression. Similarly, the HLA-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 has also been found to be more represented in healthy controls as compared to patients affected with common nonpsychiatric autoimmune disorders. Overall our findings suggest a possible involvement of HLA polymorphism in the context of regressive ASD. Autism Res 2020, 13: 182-186. © 2019 The Authors. Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: Immune dysfunctions including inflammatory and autoimmune processes have been reported in autism, particularly in regressive forms. In this study, we analyzed the distribution of HLA haplotypes among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with and without regression from Sweden and observed that HLA-DPA1*01-DPB1*04 sub-haplotype was less represented in patients with regressive autism as compared with those without regression. Such possible protective effect, also observed in other common autoimmune disorders, may constitute a link between HLA-mediated immune processes and regressive ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aur.2217DOI Listing
February 2020

Mowat-Wilson syndrome: Generation of two human iPS cell lines (UUIGPi004A and UUIGPi005A) from siblings with a truncating ZEB2 gene variant.

Stem Cell Res 2019 08 27;39:101518. Epub 2019 Jul 27.

Uppsala University, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:

Mowat-Wilson syndrome (MWS) is a complex developmental syndrome caused by heterozygous mutations in the Zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2 gene (ZEB2). We generated the first human iPSC lines from primary fibroblasts of two siblings with MWS carrying a heterozygous ZEB2 stop mutation (c.1027C > T; p.Arg343*) using the Sendai virus reprogramming system. Both iPSC lines were free from reprogramming vector genes, expressed pluripotency markers and showed potential to differentiate into the three germ layers. Genetic analysis confirmed normal karyotypes and a preserved stop mutation. These iPSC lines will provide a useful resource to study altered neural lineage fate and neuropathophysiology in MWS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scr.2019.101518DOI Listing
August 2019

NRXN1 Deletion and Exposure to Methylmercury Increase Astrocyte Differentiation by Different Notch-Dependent Transcriptional Mechanisms.

Front Genet 2019 21;10:593. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Controversial evidence points to a possible involvement of methylmercury (MeHg) in the etiopathogenesis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In the present study, we used human neuroepithelial stem cells from healthy donors and from an autistic patient bearing a bi-allelic deletion in the gene encoding for to evaluate whether MeHg would induce cellular changes comparable to those seen in cells derived from the ASD patient. In healthy cells, a subcytotoxic concentration of MeHg enhanced astroglial differentiation similarly to what observed in the diseased cells (N1), as shown by the number of GFAP positive cells and immunofluorescence signal intensity. In both healthy MeHg-treated and N1 untreated cells, aberrations in Notch pathway activity seemed to play a critical role in promoting the differentiation toward glia. Accordingly, treatment with the established Notch inhibitor DAPT reversed the altered differentiation. Although our data are not conclusive since only one of the genes involved in ASD is considered, the results provide novel evidence suggesting that developmental exposure to MeHg, even at subcytotoxic concentrations, induces alterations in astroglial differentiation similar to those observed in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00593DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6610538PMC
June 2019

Single cell analysis of autism patient with bi-allelic NRXN1-alpha deletion reveals skewed fate choice in neural progenitors and impaired neuronal functionality.

Exp Cell Res 2019 10 12;383(1):111469. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

We generated human iPS derived neural stem cells and differentiated cells from healthy control individuals and an individual with autism spectrum disorder carrying bi-allelic NRXN1-alpha deletion. We investigated the expression of NRXN1-alpha during neural induction and neural differentiation and observed a pivotal role for NRXN1-alpha during early neural induction and neuronal differentiation. Single cell RNA-seq pinpointed neural stem cells carrying NRXN1-alpha deletion shifting towards radial glia-like cell identity and revealed higher proportion of differentiated astroglia. Furthermore, neuronal cells carrying NRXN1-alpha deletion were identified as immature by single cell RNA-seq analysis, displayed significant depression in calcium signaling activity and presented impaired maturation action potential profile in neurons investigated with electrophysiology. Our observations propose NRXN1-alpha plays an important role for the efficient establishment of neural stem cells, in neuronal differentiation and in maturation of functional excitatory neuronal cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2019.06.014DOI Listing
October 2019

Heterozygous Variants in KMT2E Cause a Spectrum of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Epilepsy.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 06 9;104(6):1210-1222. Epub 2019 May 9.

Institute of Medical Genetics and Applied Genomics, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen 72076, Germany.

We delineate a KMT2E-related neurodevelopmental disorder on the basis of 38 individuals in 36 families. This study includes 31 distinct heterozygous variants in KMT2E (28 ascertained from Matchmaker Exchange and three previously reported), and four individuals with chromosome 7q22.2-22.23 microdeletions encompassing KMT2E (one previously reported). Almost all variants occurred de novo, and most were truncating. Most affected individuals with protein-truncating variants presented with mild intellectual disability. One-quarter of individuals met criteria for autism. Additional common features include macrocephaly, hypotonia, functional gastrointestinal abnormalities, and a subtle facial gestalt. Epilepsy was present in about one-fifth of individuals with truncating variants and was responsive to treatment with anti-epileptic medications in almost all. More than 70% of the individuals were male, and expressivity was variable by sex; epilepsy was more common in females and autism more common in males. The four individuals with microdeletions encompassing KMT2E generally presented similarly to those with truncating variants, but the degree of developmental delay was greater. The group of four individuals with missense variants in KMT2E presented with the most severe developmental delays. Epilepsy was present in all individuals with missense variants, often manifesting as treatment-resistant infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Microcephaly was also common in this group. Haploinsufficiency versus gain-of-function or dominant-negative effects specific to these missense variants in KMT2E might explain this divergence in phenotype, but requires independent validation. Disruptive variants in KMT2E are an under-recognized cause of neurodevelopmental abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.03.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556837PMC
June 2019

De Novo Pathogenic Variants in CACNA1E Cause Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy with Contractures, Macrocephaly, and Dyskinesias.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 11 18;103(5):666-678. Epub 2018 Oct 18.

Division of Genetics and Metabolism, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are severe neurodevelopmental disorders often beginning in infancy or early childhood that are characterized by intractable seizures, abundant epileptiform activity on EEG, and developmental impairment or regression. CACNA1E is highly expressed in the central nervous system and encodes the α-subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2.3 channel, which conducts high voltage-activated R-type calcium currents that initiate synaptic transmission. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, we identified de novo CACNA1E variants in 30 individuals with DEE, characterized by refractory infantile-onset seizures, severe hypotonia, and profound developmental impairment, often with congenital contractures, macrocephaly, hyperkinetic movement disorders, and early death. Most of the 14, partially recurring, variants cluster within the cytoplasmic ends of all four S6 segments, which form the presumed Ca2.3 channel activation gate. Functional analysis of several S6 variants revealed consistent gain-of-function effects comprising facilitated voltage-dependent activation and slowed inactivation. Another variant located in the domain II S4-S5 linker results in facilitated activation and increased current density. Five participants achieved seizure freedom on the anti-epileptic drug topiramate, which blocks R-type calcium channels. We establish pathogenic variants in CACNA1E as a cause of DEEs and suggest facilitated R-type calcium currents as a disease mechanism for human epilepsy and developmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6216110PMC
November 2018

Genomic screening in rare disorders: New mutations and phenotypes, highlighting ALG14 as a novel cause of severe intellectual disability.

Clin Genet 2018 12 15;94(6):528-537. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

We have investigated 20 consanguineous families with multiple children affected by rare disorders. Detailed clinical examinations, exome sequencing of affected as well as unaffected family members and further validation of likely pathogenic variants were performed. In 16/20 families, we identified pathogenic variants in autosomal recessive disease genes (ALMS1, PIGT, FLVCR2, TFG, CYP7B1, ALG14, EXOSC3, MEGF10, ASAH1, WDR62, ASPM, PNPO, ERCC5, KIAA1109, RIPK4, MAN1B1). A number of these genes have only rarely been reported previously and our findings thus confirm them as disease genes, further delineate the associated phenotypes and expand the mutation spectrum with reports of novel variants. We highlight the findings in two affected siblings with splice altering variants in ALG14 and propose a new clinical entity, which includes severe intellectual disability, epilepsy, behavioral problems and mild dysmorphic features, caused by biallelic variants in ALG14.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13448DOI Listing
December 2018

Benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy does not lead to neurological sequelae.

Dev Med Child Neurol 2018 12 28;60(12):1251-1255. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Aim: To elucidate the natural course of benign paroxysmal torticollis, the relationship of this disorder to migraine and other paroxysmal diseases, and to analyse candidate genes.

Method: This was a case series of children with benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy (BPTI) diagnosed from 1998 to 2005, at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. A neurological examination and a formalized motor assessment were performed from 2005 to 2007. At a second follow-up, in 2014 to 2015, the children and their parents were interviewed and candidate genes analysed.

Results: The mean age of the eight females and three males included in the second follow-up was 13 years 9 months (SD 2y 2mo). All motor assessments were normal. Five had developed migraine, abdominal migraine, and/or cyclic vomiting. Prophylactic treatment or migraine-specific medication during attacks were not needed. No paroxysmal tonic upgaze, benign paroxysmal vertigo, epilepsy, episodic ataxia, or paroxysmal dyskinesia was reported. Rare genetic variants in CACNA1A and ATP1A2 were found in two children. Five had a family history of migraine.

Interpretation: BPTI is transient and does not lead to neurological sequelae. Most children afflicted experience either a mild migraine or no paroxysmal disorder at all in their adolescence. Genetic variants in candidate genes were few, indicating potential genetic heterogeneity.

What This Paper Adds: After resolution of their benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy (BPTI), children display no gross motor delay. Most adolescents who previously had BPTI have not developed migraine. No mutations in candidate genes, known to cause hemiplegic migraine, were found. Associated symptoms are often lacking during episodes of torticollis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.13939DOI Listing
December 2018

Toward clinical and molecular understanding of pathogenic variants in the ZBTB18 gene.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2018 05 24;6(3):393-400. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background: Patients with pathogenic variants in ZBTB18 present with Intellectual Disability (ID) with frequent co-occurrence of corpus callosum (CC) anomalies, hypotonia, microcephaly, growth problems and variable facial dysmorphologies. These features illustrate a key role for ZBTB18 in brain development.

Methods: Patients with a pathogenic variant in ZBTB18 were detected by diagnostic whole exome sequencing (WES) performed in our center. We reviewed the literature and used GeneMatcher to include other cases. YASARA and WHAT IF were used to provide insight into the structural effect of missense variants located in the C2H2 zinc finger domains of the ZBTB18 protein.

Results: We give a complete overview of pathogenic variants in ZBTB18 detected to date, showing inconsistent presence of clinical features, including CC anomalies. We present four new cases with a de novo pathogenic variant in the ZBTB18 gene, including the fourth case in which a de novo p.Arg464His variant was found.

Conclusion: Homology modeling of protein structure points to a variable degree of impaired DNA binding caused by missense variants in these domains probably leading to Loss of Function (LoF). Putative partial LoF may present with a less distinctive phenotype than complete LoF, as seen in truncating variants, which presents with an extensive variability in the phenotypic spectrum. Our data do not support a clear genotype to phenotype correlation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.387DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6014478PMC
May 2018

Reversed gender ratio of autism spectrum disorder in Smith-Magenis syndrome.

Mol Autism 2018 8;9. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

NevSom, Department of Rare Disorders and Disabilities, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Background: A substantial amount of research shows a higher rate of autistic type of problems in males compared to females. The 4:1 male to female ratio is one of the most consistent findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).Lately, the interest in studying ASD in genetic disorders has increased, and research has shown a higher prevalence of ASD in some genetic disorders than in the general population.Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a rare and complex genetic syndrome caused by an interstitial deletion of chromosome 17p11.2 or a mutation on the retinoic acid induced 1 gene. The disorder is characterised by intellectual disability, multiple congenital anomalies, obesity, neurobehavioural abnormalities and a disrupted circadian sleep-wake pattern.

Methods: Parents of 28 persons with SMS between 5 and 50 years old participated in this study. A total of 12 of the persons with SMS were above the age of 18 at the time of the study. A total of 11 came from Sweden and 17 were from Norway.We collected information regarding the number of autism spectrum symptoms using the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Adaptive behaviour was also measured using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II. The level of intellectual disability was derived from a review of the medical chart.

Results: We found significant gender differences in ASD symptomatology using the SCQ and SRS questionnaires. We found approximately three females per male above the SCQ cutoff. The same differences were not found in the intellectual level and adaptive behaviour or for behavioural and emotional problems.Gender had an independent contribution in a regression model predicting the total SCQ score, and neither the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale II nor the Developmental Behaviour Checklist had an independent contribution to the SCQ scores.

Conclusion: We found a clear reversed gender difference in ASD symptomatology in persons with SMS. This may be relevant in the search for female protective factors assumed to explain the male bias in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13229-017-0184-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759230PMC
October 2018

Copy Number Variation Analysis of 100 Twin Pairs Enriched for Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2018 02 8;21(1):1-11. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND),Department of Women's and Children's Health,Karolinska Institutet,Solna,Sweden.

Hundreds of penetrant risk loci have been identified across different neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), and these often involve rare (<1% frequency) copy number variations (CNVs), which can involve one or more genes. Monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs are long thought to share 100% of their genomic information. However, genetic differences in the form of postzygotic somatic variants have been reported recently both in typically developing (TD) and in clinically discordant MZ pairs. We sought to investigate the contribution of rare CNVs in 100 twin pairs enriched for NDD phenotypes with a particular focus on postzygotic CNVs in MZ pairs discordant for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using the Illumina Infinium PsychArray. In our sample, no postzygotic de novo CNVs were found in 55 MZ twin pairs, including the 13 pairs discordant for ASD. We did detect a higher rate of CNVs overlapping genes involved in disorders of the nervous system, such as a rare deletion affecting HNRNPU, in MZ pairs discordant and concordant for ASD in comparison with TD pairs (p = .02). Our results are in concordance with earlier findings that postzygotic de novo CNV events are typically rare in genomic DNA derived from saliva or blood, and suggests that the discordance of NDDs in our sample of twins is not explained by discordant CNVs. Still, studies investigating postzygotic variation in MZ discordant twins using DNA from different tissues and single cells and higher resolution genomics are needed in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2017.69DOI Listing
February 2018

Minor physical anomalies in neurodevelopmental disorders: a twin study.

Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 2017 28;11:57. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Department of Women's and Children's Health, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Karolinska Institutet & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Gävlegatan 22B, 113 30 Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Minor physical anomalies (MPAs) are subtle anatomical deviations in one's appearance and may suggest altered embryogenesis. MPAs have been shown to be more common in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) compared with typical development. Still, further studies are needed on MPAs in NDDs, especially using twins to adjust for confounding familial factors.

Methods: Clinical assessments were conducted on 116 twins (61 NDD, 55 controls) from 51 monozygotic and 7 dizygotic pairs to examine MPAs and their association with DSM-5 defined NDDs. Additionally, the relationship between the number of MPAs within twins by zygosity was investigated.

Results: Within the cohort sample, a specific association was found between MPAs and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis (crude odds ratio = 1.29, p = .047; adjusted odds ratios = 1.26-1.33, adjusted p values = .032-.073) and autistic traits (crude β = 3.02, p = .002; adjusted β = 2.28, p = .019), but not NDDs in general or ADHD, nor within-pairs. Identified MPAs in ASD included overweight, hypermobility, pes planus, straight eyebrows, vision impairment, arachnodactyly/long toes, long eyelashes, and microtia. The number of MPAs within all monozygotic pairs was highly correlated (r = .88, p < .001).

Conclusion: MPAs are more frequent in participants with ASD and may be influenced by genetics. The value of MPAs for (early) detection should be further explored, as they might index individuals at increased risk for ASD in particular.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13034-017-0195-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5706157PMC
November 2017

Hotspots of missense mutation identify neurodevelopmental disorder genes and functional domains.

Nat Neurosci 2017 Aug 19;20(8):1043-1051. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Centre for Human Genetics, KU Leuven and Leuven Autism Research, Leuven, Belgium.

Although de novo missense mutations have been predicted to account for more cases of autism than gene-truncating mutations, most research has focused on the latter. We identified the properties of de novo missense mutations in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) and highlight 35 genes with excess missense mutations. Additionally, 40 amino acid sites were recurrently mutated in 36 genes, and targeted sequencing of 20 sites in 17,688 patients with NDD identified 21 new patients with identical missense mutations. One recurrent site substitution (p.A636T) occurs in a glutamate receptor subunit, GRIA1. This same amino acid substitution in the homologous but distinct mouse glutamate receptor subunit Grid2 is associated with Lurcher ataxia. Phenotypic follow-up in five individuals with GRIA1 mutations shows evidence of specific learning disabilities and autism. Overall, we find significant clustering of de novo mutations in 200 genes, highlighting specific functional domains and synaptic candidate genes important in NDD pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.4589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539915PMC
August 2017

[Insufficient knowledge of the relationship between sex chromosome abnormalities and psychiatric diagnoses].

Lakartidningen 2017 06 2;114. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Karolinska Institutet - Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap Stockholm, Sweden - Department of Clinical Neuroscience Stockholm, Sweden.

Sex chromosome abnormalities are among the most common genetic changes. The manifestations vary and may include growth abnormalities, specific appearance features, and other endocrinological and physical disorders, but also delayed psychomotor development, learning disabilities, and psychiatric conditions including ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. Increased knowledge about the relationship between sex chromosome abnormalities, development and psychiatric conditions would enable improved care of these patients.
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June 2017