Publications by authors named "Donato Sauchelli"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Small fibre neuropathy in mitochondrial diseases explored with sudoscan.

Clin Neurophysiol 2018 08 1;129(8):1618-1623. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

UOC Neurologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Institute of Neurology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Polyneuropathy in mitochondrial diseases (MDs) is relatively common and widely investigated, but few data are instead reported about small fibres involvement.

Methods: In order to investigate the involvement of small fibres in MDs we performed extensive neurophysiological test (nerve conduction studies; sympathetic skin response; sudoscan) in 27 patients with genetic diagnosis of MD (7 m.3243A > G; 4 m.8344A > G; 9 single mtDNA deletion; 7 multiple mtDNA deletions).

Results: NCS showed a polyneuropathy in 11/27 cases (41%). The incidence was very high in POLG1 (100%), m.8344A > G (75%) and m.3243A > G (43%), while only 11% of patients with single deletion had evidence of large fibres involvement. Sympathetic skin response was abnormal only in three patients (one progressive external ophthalmoplegia with single mtDNA deletion; one patient with m.3243A > G mutation; one patient with POLG1 mutation). Sudoscan revealed the presence of an autonomic small fibres dysfunction in 9/27 cases (33%), most of them (7/9) carrying a single mtDNA deletion. Sudoscan data were also confirmed in a sub-group of patients by laser evoked potentials study. Considering only patients with single mtDNA deletion 7/9 (78%) showed abnormal results at sudoscan.

Conclusions: Small fibre neuropathy is another feature to investigate in mitochondrial diseases and seems specifically associated with the presence of single mtDNA deletion.

Significance: The correct identification through specific neurophysiological tests of small fibres involvement in MDs represents another tile in this challenging diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2018.04.755DOI Listing
August 2018

Redefining phenotypes associated with mitochondrial DNA single deletion.

J Neurol 2015 May 26;262(5):1301-9. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Neurological Clinic, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56126, Pisa, Italy,

Progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO), Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS) and Pearson syndrome are the three sporadic clinical syndromes classically associated with single large-scale deletions of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). PEO plus is a term frequently utilized in the clinical setting to identify patients with PEO and some degree of multisystem involvement, but a precise definition is not available. The purpose of the present study is to better define the clinical phenotypes associated with a single mtDNA deletion, by a retrospective study on a large cohort of 228 patients from the database of the "Nation-wide Italian Collaborative Network of Mitochondrial Diseases". In our database, single deletions account for about a third of all patients with mtDNA-related disease, more than previously recognized. We elaborated new criteria for the definition of PEO and "KSS spectrum" (a category of which classic KSS represents the most severe extreme). The criteria for "KSS spectrum" include the resulting multisystem clinical features associated with the KSS features, and which therefore can predict their presence or subsequent development. With the new criteria, we were able to classify nearly all our single-deletion patients: 64.5% PEO, 31.6% KSS spectrum (including classic KSS 6.6%) and 2.6% Pearson syndrome. The deletion length was greater in KSS spectrum than in PEO, whereas heteroplasmy was inversely related with age at onset. We believe that the new phenotype definitions implemented here may contribute to a more homogeneous patient categorization, which will be useful in future cohort studies of natural history and clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-015-7710-yDOI Listing
May 2015

"Myo-cardiomyopathy" is commonly associated with the A8344G "MERRF" mutation.

J Neurol 2015 Mar 6;262(3):701-10. Epub 2015 Jan 6.

Department of Geriatrics, Neuroscience and Orthopedics, Institute of Neurology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168, Rome, Italy.

The objective of the study was to better characterize the clinical phenotype associated with the A8344G "MERRF" mutation of mitochondrial DNA. Fifteen mutated patients were extensively investigated. The frequency of main clinical features was: exercise intolerance and/or muscle weakness 67 %, respiratory involvement 67 %, lactic acidosis 67 %, cardiac abnormalities 53 %, peripheral neuropathy 47 %, myoclonus 40 %, epilepsy 40 %, ataxia 13 %. A restrictive respiratory insufficiency requiring ventilatory support was observed in about half of our patients. One patient developed a severe and rapidly progressive cardiomyopathy requiring cardioverter-defibrillator implantation. Five patients died of overwhelming, intractable lactic acidosis. Serial muscle MRIs identified a consistent pattern of muscle involvement and progression. Cardiac MRI showed non-ischemic late gadolinium enhancement in the left ventricle inferolateral part as early sign of myocardial involvement. Brain spectroscopy demonstrated increased peak of choline and reduction of N-acetylaspartate. Lactate was never detected in brain areas, while it could be documented in ventricles. We confirm that muscle involvement is the most frequent clinical feature associated with A8443G mutation. In contrast with previous reports, however, about half of our patients did not develop signs of CNS involvement even in later stages of the disease. The difference may be related to the infrequent investigation of A8344G mutation in 'pure' mitochondrial myo-cardiomyopathy, representing a bias and a possible cause of syndrome's underestimation. Our study highlights the importance of lactic acidosis and respiratory muscle insufficiency as critical prognostic factors. Muscle and cardiac MRI and brain spectroscopy may be useful tools in diagnosis and follow-up of MERRF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-014-7632-0DOI Listing
March 2015

Acute refractory intestinal pseudo-obstruction in MELAS: efficacy of prucalopride.

Neurology 2014 May 30;82(21):1932-4. Epub 2014 Apr 30.

From the Institute of Neurology (G.P., D.P., D.S., S.S.) and the Institute of Internal Medicine (F.F., F.S., A.G.), Catholic University, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000000458DOI Listing
May 2014

The m.3243A>G mitochondrial DNA mutation and related phenotypes. A matter of gender?

J Neurol 2014 Mar 29;261(3):504-10. Epub 2013 Dec 29.

Neurological Clinic, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100, Pisa, Italy,

The m.3243A>G "MELAS" (mitochondrial encephalopathy with lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes) mutation is one of the most common point mutations of the mitochondrial DNA, but its phenotypic variability is incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to revise the phenotypic spectrum associated with the mitochondrial m.3243A>G mutation in 126 Italian carriers of the mutation, by a retrospective, database-based study ("Nation-wide Italian Collaborative Network of Mitochondrial Diseases"). Our results confirmed the high clinical heterogeneity of the m.3243A>G mutation. Hearing loss and diabetes were the most frequent clinical features, followed by stroke-like episodes. "MIDD" (maternally-inherited diabetes and deafness) and "PEO" (progressive external ophthalmoplegia) are nosographic terms without any real prognostic value, because these patients may be even more prone to the development of multisystem complications such as stroke-like episodes and heart involvement. The "MELAS" acronym is convincing and useful to denote patients with histological, biochemical and/or molecular evidence of mitochondrial disease who experience stroke-like episodes. Of note, we observed for the first time that male gender could represent a risk factor for the development of stroke-like episodes in Italian m.3243A>G carriers. Gender effect is not a new concept in mitochondrial medicine, but it has never been observed in MELAS. A better elucidation of the complex network linking mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, estrogen effects and stroke-like episodes may hold therapeutic promises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-013-7225-3DOI Listing
March 2014

R208H-129VV haplotype in the prion protein gene: phenotype and neuroimaging of a patient with genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

J Neurol 2013 Oct 25;260(10):2650-2. Epub 2013 Aug 25.

Dipartimento di Gerontologia, Neuroscienze ed Ortopedia, Istituto di Neurologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico A.Gemelli, Largo A. Gemelli 8, 00168, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-013-7078-9DOI Listing
October 2013

Phenotypic heterogeneity of the 8344A>G mtDNA "MERRF" mutation.

Neurology 2013 May 1;80(22):2049-54. Epub 2013 May 1.

Neurological Clinic, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objectives: Myoclonic epilepsy with ragged-red fibers (MERRF) is a rare mitochondrial syndrome, mostly caused by the 8344A>G mitochondrial DNA mutation. Most of the previous studies have been based on single case/family reports or series with few patients. The primary aim of this study was the characterization of a large cohort of patients with the 8344A>G mutation. The secondary aim was revision of the previously published data.

Methods: Retrospective, database-based study (Nation-wide Italian Collaborative Network of Mitochondrial Diseases) and systematic revision.

Results: Forty-two patients carrying the mutation were identified. The great majority did not have full-blown MERRF syndrome. Myoclonus was present in 1 of 5 patients, whereas myopathic signs and symptoms, generalized seizures, hearing loss, eyelid ptosis, and multiple lipomatosis represented the most common clinical features. Some asymptomatic mutation carriers have also been observed. Myoclonus was more strictly associated with ataxia than generalized seizures in adult 8344A>G subjects. Considering all of the 321 patients so far available, including our dataset and previously published cases, at the mean age of approximately 35 years, the clinical picture was characterized by the following signs/symptoms, in descending order: myoclonus, muscle weakness, ataxia (35%-45% of patients); generalized seizures, hearing loss (25%-34.9%); cognitive impairment, multiple lipomatosis, neuropathy, exercise intolerance (15%-24.9%); and increased creatine kinase levels, ptosis/ophthalmoparesis, optic atrophy, cardiomyopathy, muscle wasting, respiratory impairment, diabetes, muscle pain, tremor, migraine (5%-14.9%).

Conclusions: Our results showed higher clinical heterogeneity than commonly thought. Moreover, MERRF could be better defined as a myoclonic ataxia rather than a myoclonic epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e318294b44cDOI Listing
May 2013

Hypoglossal palsy and coeliac disease: an uncommon presentation for a common disease?

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2011 Jun 5;113(5):426-9. Epub 2011 Feb 5.

Department of Neuroscience, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clineuro.2011.01.002DOI Listing
June 2011

Rippling muscle disease and cardiomyopathy associated with a mutation in the CAV3 gene.

Neuromuscul Disord 2009 Nov 20;19(11):779-83. Epub 2009 Sep 20.

Department of Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, Catholic University, Largo Agostino Gemelli 8, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Caveolin-3, the myocyte-specific isoform of caveolins, is preferentially expressed in skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles. Mutations in the CAV3 gene cause clinically heterogeneous neuromuscular disorders, including rippling muscle disease, or cardiopathies. The same mutation may lead to different phenotypes, but cardiac and muscle involvement rarely coexists suggesting that the molecular network acting with caveolin-3 in skeletal muscle and heart may differ. Here we describe an Italian family (a father and his two sons) with clinical and neurophysiological features of rippling muscle disease and heart involvement characterized by atrio-ventricular conduction defects and dilated cardiomyopathy. Muscle biopsy showed loss of caveolin-3 immunosignal. Molecular studies identified the p.A46V mutation in CAV3 previously reported in a German family with autosomal dominant rippling muscle disease and sudden death in few individuals. We suggest that cardiac dysfunction in myopathic patients with CAV3 mutations may be underestimated and recommend a more thorough evaluation for the presence of cardiomyopathy and potentially lethal arrhythmias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2009.08.015DOI Listing
November 2009