Publications by authors named "Elena Pegoraro"

164 Publications

The nonsense mutation stop+4 model correlates with motor changes in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Neuromuscul Disord 2021 Feb 21. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Pediatric Neurology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; Centro Clinico Nemo, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS, Largo Agostino Gemelli 8, Rome 00152, Italy. Electronic address:

The aim was to assess 3-year longitudinal data using 6MWT in 26 ambulant boys affected by DMD carrying nonsense mutations and to compare their results to other small mutations. We also wished to establish, within the nonsense mutations group, patterns of change according to several variables. Patients with nonsense mutations were categorized according to the stop codon type newly created by the mutation and also including the adjacent 5' (upstream) and 3' (downstream) nucleotides. No significant difference was found between nonsense mutations and other small mutations (p > 0.05) on the 6MWT. Within the nonsense mutations group, there was no difference in 6MWT when the patients were subdivided according to: Type of stop codon, frame status of exons involved, protein domain affected. In contrast, there was a difference when the stop codon together with the 3' adjacent nucleotide ("stop+4 model") was considered (p < 0.05) with patients with stop codon TGA and 3' adjacent nucleotide G (TGAG) having a more rapid decline. Our finding suggest that the stop+4 model may help in predicting functional changes. This data will be useful at the time of interpreting the long term follow up of patients treated with Ataluren that are becoming increasingly available.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2021.02.015DOI Listing
February 2021

Molecular Diagnosis in 100% of Dystrophinopathies: Are We There Yet?

Authors:
Elena Pegoraro

Neurol Genet 2021 Feb 29;7(1):e529. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

ERN Neuromuscular Unit, Department of Neurosciences, DNS, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000529DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954464PMC
February 2021

Miyoshi myopathy and limb girdle muscular dystrophy R2 are the same disease.

Neuromuscul Disord 2021 Jan 21. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

This study aims to determine clinically relevant phenotypic differences between the two most common phenotypic classifications in dysferlinopathy, limb girdle muscular dystrophy R2 (LGMDR2) and Miyoshi myopathy (MMD1). LGMDR2 and MMD1 are reported to involve different muscles, with LGMDR2 showing predominant limb girdle weakness and MMD1 showing predominant distal lower limb weakness. We used heatmaps, regression analysis and principle component analysis of functional and Magnetic Resonance Imaging data to perform a cross-sectional review of the pattern of muscle involvement in 168 patients from the Jain Foundation's international Clinical Outcomes Study for Dysferlinopathy. We demonstrated that there is no clinically relevant difference in proximal vs distal involvement between diagnosis. There is a continuum of distal involvement at any given degree of proximal involvement and patients do not fall into discrete distally or proximally affected groups. There appeared to be geographical preference for a particular diagnosis, with MMD1 being more common in Japan and LGMDR2 in Europe and the USA. We conclude that the dysferlinopathies do not form two distinct phenotypic groups and therefore should not be split into separate cohorts of LGMDR2 and MM for the purposes of clinical management, enrolment in clinical trials or access to subsequent treatments.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2021.01.009DOI Listing
January 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Bimagrumab in Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis: Long-term Extension of RESILIENT.

Neurology 2021 Mar 17;96(12):e1595-e1607. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

From the Department of Neurology (A.A.A.), Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Medical Research Council Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases (M.G.H., P.M.M.) and Institute of Neurology, Department of Neuromuscular Diseases & Centre for Rheumatology (P.M.M.), University College London; Department of Rheumatology & Queen Square Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases (P.M.M.), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Department of Rheumatology (P.M.M.), Northwick Park Hospital, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, UK; Department of Neurology (U.A.B.), Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands; National Institute for Health Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (H.C.), Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, The University of Manchester, UK; Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology (O.B.), Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France; Novartis Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. (K.A.K), Hyderabad, India; Novartis Pharmaceuticals (M.W., D.A.P.), East Hanover, NJ; Novartis Pharma AG (L.B.T., A.A.S-T.), Basel, Switzerland; Department of Neurology (T.E.L.), The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Institute for Immunology & Infectious Diseases (M.N.), Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch University and Notre Dame University, Perth; Department of Neurology (C.L.), Royal North Shore Hospital, New South Wales; Calvary Health Care Bethlehem (K.A.R.), Caulfield South, Australia; Department of Neurology (M.d.V), Amsterdam University Medical Centre, the Netherlands; Department of Medicine (D.P.A.), University of Miami, FL; Department of Neurology (R.J.B., M.M.D.), University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City; Department of Neurology (J.A.L.M.), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Department of Neurology (J.T.K.), The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus; Neuromuscular Research Center (B.O., N.C.J.), UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA; Department of Neurology (P.V.d.B.), University Hospital Saint-Luc, University of Louvain, Brussels; Neuromuscular Reference Centre, Department of Neurology (J.B.), Antwerp University Hospital; Institute Born-Bunge (J.B.), University of Antwerp; Department of Neurology (J.L.d.B.), Ghent University Hospital, Belgium; Department of Neurology (C.K.), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Department of Neurology (W.S.D.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Neuromuscular Diagnostic Center and Electromyography Laboratory, Boston; Department of Neurology (M.M.), Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (M.M.), Rome, Italy; Department of Neurology (S.P.N.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Department of Neurology (H.H.J.), University Hospital and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Neurosciences (E.P.), University of Padova School of Medicine; Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta (L.M.), Milan; Unit of Neurology and Neuromuscular Disorders (C.R.), Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico G Martino, University of Messina; Center for Neuromuscular Diseases (M.F.), Unit of Neurology, ASST Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Italy; Nerve and Muscle Center of Texas (A.I.S.), Houston; Neuromuscular Research Center (K.S.), Phoenix, AZ; Department of Neurology (N.A.G.), ALS & Neuromuscular Center, University of California Irvine, Orange; Department of Neurology (M.M.-Y.), National Center Hospital, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo; Department of Neurology (S.Y.), Kumamoto University Hospital; Department of Neurology (N.S.), Tohoku University Hospital, Miyagi; Department of Neurology (M.A.), Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai; Department of Neurology (M.K.), Nagoya University Hospital, Aichi; Department of Neurology (H.M.), Osaka City General Hospital; Wakayama Medical University Hospital (K.M.); Tokushima University Hospital (H.N.); Department of Neuromuscular Research (I.N.), National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan; RTI Health Solutions (C.D.R., V.S.L.W.), Research Triangle Park, NC; Copenhagen Neuromuscular Center (J.V.), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and UCB (L.Z.A.), Bulle, Switzerland. H.N. is currently affiliated with the Department of Neurology, Kanazawa Medical University, Ishikawa, Japan. B.O. is currently affiliated with the Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL.

Objective: To assess long-term (2 years) effects of bimagrumab in participants with sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM).

Methods: Participants (aged 36-85 years) who completed the core study (RESILIENT [Efficacy and Safety of Bimagrumab/BYM338 at 52 Weeks on Physical Function, Muscle Strength, Mobility in sIBM Patients]) were invited to join an extension study. Individuals continued on the same treatment as in the core study (10 mg/kg, 3 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg bimagrumab or matching placebo administered as IV infusions every 4 weeks). The co-primary outcome measures were 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and safety.

Results: Between November 2015 and February 2017, 211 participants entered double-blind placebo-controlled period of the extension study. Mean change in 6MWD from baseline was highly variable across treatment groups, but indicated progressive deterioration from weeks 24-104 in all treatment groups. Overall, 91.0% (n = 142) of participants in the pooled bimagrumab group and 89.1% (n = 49) in the placebo group had ≥1 treatment-emergent adverse event (AE). Falls were slightly higher in the bimagrumab 3 mg/kg group vs 10 mg/kg, 1 mg/kg, and placebo groups (69.2% [n = 36 of 52] vs 56.6% [n = 30 of 53], 58.8% [n = 30 of 51], and 61.8% [n = 34 of 55], respectively). The most frequently reported AEs in the pooled bimagrumab group were diarrhea 14.7% (n = 23), involuntary muscle contractions 9.6% (n = 15), and rash 5.1% (n = 8). Incidence of serious AEs was comparable between the pooled bimagrumab and the placebo group (18.6% [n = 29] vs 14.5% [n = 8], respectively).

Conclusion: Extended treatment with bimagrumab up to 2 years produced a good safety profile and was well-tolerated, but did not provide clinical benefits in terms of improvement in mobility. The extension study was terminated early due to core study not meeting its primary endpoint.

Clinical Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02573467.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with sIBM, long-term treatment with bimagrumab was safe, well-tolerated, and did not provide meaningful functional benefit. The study is rated Class IV because of the open-label design of extension treatment period 2.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032371PMC
March 2021

Nutrition in adult patients with selected lysosomal storage diseases.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2021 03 9;31(3):733-744. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, "Federico II" University Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are a group of clinically heterogeneous disorders affecting the function of lysosomes and are characterized by an accumulation of undigested substrates within several cell types. In recent years there have been substantial advances in supportive care and drug treatment for some LSDs, leading to improved patient survival, as seen in Gaucher, Pompe and Fabry disease and some Mucopolysaccharidoses; however, many symptoms still persist. Thus it is now even more important to improve patients' quality of life and reduce symptoms and comorbidities. One potential way of achieving this goal is through adjunct nutritional therapy, which is challenging as patients may be overweight with associated consequences, or malnourished, or underweight. Furthermore, drugs used to treat LSDs can modify the metabolic status and needs of patients. There are currently not enough data to make specific dietary recommendations for individual LSDs; however, suggestions can be made for managing clinical manifestations of the diseases, as well as treatment-associated adverse events. The metabolic and nutritional status of adult patients must be regularly assessed and individualized dietary plans may be created to cater to a patient's specific needs. Damage to the autophagic process is a common feature in LSDs that is potentially sensitive to dietary manipulation and needs to be assessed in clinical studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2020.11.028DOI Listing
March 2021

Assessing Dysferlinopathy Patients Over Three Years With a New Motor Scale.

Ann Neurol 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Objective: Dysferlinopathy is a muscular dystrophy with a highly variable clinical presentation and currently unpredictable progression. This variability and unpredictability presents difficulties for prognostication and clinical trial design. The Jain Clinical Outcomes Study of Dysferlinopathy aims to establish the validity of the North Star Assessment for Limb Girdle Type Muscular Dystrophies (NSAD) scale and identify factors that influence the rate of disease progression using NSAD.

Methods: We collected a longitudinal series of functional assessments from 187 patients with dysferlinopathy over 3 years. Rasch analysis was used to develop the NSAD, a motor performance scale suitable for ambulant and nonambulant patients. Generalized estimating equations were used to evaluate the impact of patient factors on outcome trajectories.

Results: The NSAD detected significant change in clinical progression over 1 year. The steepest functional decline occurred during the first 10 years after symptom onset, with more rapid decline noted in patients who developed symptoms at a younger age (p = 0.04). The most rapidly deteriorating group over the study was patients 3 to 8 years post symptom onset at baseline.

Interpretation: The NSAD is the first validated limb girdle specific scale of motor performance, suitable for use in clinical practice and clinical trials. Longitudinal analysis showed it may be possible to identify patient factors associated with greater functional decline both across the disease course and in the short-term for clinical trial preparation. Through further work and validation in this cohort, we anticipate that a disease model incorporating functional performance will allow for more accurate prognosis for patients with dysferlinopathy. ANN NEUROL 2021.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.26044DOI Listing
February 2021

Next-generation sequencing application to investigate skeletal muscle channelopathies in a large cohort of Italian patients.

Neuromuscul Disord 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Neurology IV Unit, Neuroimmunology and Neuromuscular Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Non-dystrophic myotonias and periodic paralyses are a heterogeneous group of disabling diseases classified as skeletal muscle channelopathies. Their genetic characterization is essential for prognostic and therapeutic purposes; however, several genes are involved. Sanger-based sequencing of a single gene is time-consuming, often expensive; thus, we designed a next-generation sequencing panel of 56 putative candidate genes for skeletal muscle channelopathies, codifying for proteins involved in excitability, excitation-contraction coupling, and metabolism of muscle fibres. We analyzed a large cohort of 109 Italian patients with a suspect of NDM or PP by next-generation sequencing. We identified 24 patients mutated in CLCN1 gene, 15 in SCN4A, 3 in both CLCN1 and SCN4A, 1 in ATP2A1, 1 in KCNA1 and 1 in CASQ1. Eight were novel mutations: p.G395Cfs*32, p.L843P, p.V829M, p.E258E and c.1471+4delTCAAGAC in CLCN1, p.K1302R in SCN4A, p.L208P in ATP2A1 and c.280-1G>C in CASQ1 genes. This study demonstrated the utility of targeted next generation sequencing approach in molecular diagnosis of skeletal muscle channelopathies and the importance of the collaboration between clinicians and molecular geneticists and additional methods for unclear variants to make a conclusive diagnosis.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2020.12.003DOI Listing
December 2020

Increasing involvement of CAPN1 variants in spastic ataxias and phenotype-genotype correlations.

Neurogenetics 2021 03 23;22(1):71-79. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Sorbonne Université, Institut du Cerveau - Paris Brain Institute - ICM, Inserm, CNRS, APHP, Hôpital de la Pitié Salpêtrière, DMU Neuroscience 6, Paris, France.

Spastic ataxias are rare neurogenetic disorders involving spinocerebellar and pyramidal tracts. Many genes are involved. Among them, CAPN1, when mutated, is responsible for a complex inherited form of spastic paraplegia (SPG76). We report the largest published series of 21 novel patients with nine new CAPN1 disease-causing variants and their clinical characteristics from two European university hospitals (Paris and Stockholm). After a formal clinical examination, causative variants were identified by next-generation sequencing and confirmed by Sanger sequencing. CAPN1 variants are a rare cause (~ 1.4%) of young-adult-onset spastic ataxia; however, together with all published cases, they allowed us to better describe the clinical and genetic spectra of this form. Truncating variants are the most frequent, and missense variants lead to earlier age at onset in favor of an additional deleterious effect. Cerebellar ataxia with cerebellar atrophy, dysarthria and lower limb weakness are often associated with spasticity. We also suggest that cognitive impairment and depression should be assessed specifically in the follow-up of SPG76 cases.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10048-020-00633-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Intensive Teenage Activity Is Associated With Greater Muscle Hyperintensity on T1W Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Adults With Dysferlinopathy.

Front Neurol 2020 16;11:613446. Epub 2020 Dec 16.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Practice of sports during childhood or adolescence correlates with an earlier onset and more rapidly progressing phenotype in dysferlinopathies. To determine if this correlation relates to greater muscle pathology that persists into adulthood, we investigated the effect of exercise on the degree of muscle fatty replacement measured using muscle MRI. We reviewed pelvic, thigh and leg T1W MRI scans from 160 patients with genetically confirmed dysferlinopathy from the Jain Foundation International clinical outcomes study in dysferlinopathy. Two independent assessors used the Lamminen-Mercuri visual scale to score degree of fat replacement in each muscle. Exercise intensity for each individual was defined as no activity, minimal, moderate, or intensive activity by using metabolic equivalents and patient reported frequency of sports undertaken between the ages of 10 and 18. We used ANCOVA and linear modeling to compare the mean Lamminen-Mercuri score for the pelvis, thigh, and leg between exercise groups, controlling for age at assessment and symptom duration. Intensive exercisers showed greater fatty replacement in the muscles of the pelvis than moderate exercisers, but no significant differences of the thigh or leg. Within the pelvis, Psoas was the muscle most strongly associated with this exercise effect. In patients with a short symptom duration of <15 years there was a trend toward greater fatty replacement in the muscles of the thigh. These findings define key muscles involved in the exercise-phenotype effect that has previously been observed only clinically in dysferlinopathy and support recommendations that pre-symptomatic patients should avoid very intensive exercise.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.613446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773023PMC
December 2020

Outcome measures and treatment effectiveness in late onset myasthenia gravis.

Neurol Res Pract 2020 30;2:45. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Ospedale regionale Ca' Foncello, Unit of Neurology, 31100 Treviso, Italy.

Background: Recently different subtypes of myasthenia gravis (MG) have been described. They differ for clinical features and pathogenesis but the prognosis and response to treatment is less clear. The aim of the study was to evaluate outcome and treatment effectiveness including side effects in late onset MG (LOMG) compared with early onset MG (EOMG).

Methods: We analysed retrospectively 208 MG patients. Clinical features were recorded as well as treatment and side effects. Outcome at the last follow-up was evaluated with MGSTI and MGPIS scales.

Results: The 208 patients included were classified as follow: 36 ocular MG, 40 EOMG, 72 LOMG, 25 thymoma-associated, 14 anti-MuSK and 21 double seronegative. Similar positive outcome was achieved in either early and late onset subgroup. We found pharmacological remission and minimal manifestations at the MGFA-PIS in the 95% and 94,4% of EOMG and LOMG respectively but in LOMG a lower dose of immunosuppressors (MGSTI< 2) was required compared to EOMG ( = 0,048). Severe side effects were present in a small percentage of patients in both group but diabetes was more frequent in LOMG vs EOMG (2,2% vs 5%,  = 0.017).

Conclusions: Despite LOMG has more comorbidities that might interfere with treatment and outcome, therapeutic management does not seem to differ between EOMG and LOMG. A similar positive outcome was seen in both subgroups but LOMG group seems to require lower doses of medication to control symptoms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42466-020-00091-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7650071PMC
October 2020

Large genotype-phenotype study in carriers of D4Z4 borderline alleles provides guidance for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy diagnosis.

Sci Rep 2020 12 10;10(1):21648. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a myopathy with prevalence of 1 in 20,000. Almost all patients affected by FSHD carry deletions of an integral number of tandem 3.3 kilobase repeats, termed D4Z4, located on chromosome 4q35. Assessment of size of D4Z4 alleles is commonly used for FSHD diagnosis. However, the extended molecular testing has expanded the spectrum of clinical phenotypes. In particular, D4Z4 alleles with 9-10 repeat have been found in healthy individuals, in subjects with FSHD or affected by other myopathies. These findings weakened the strict relationship between observed phenotypes and their underlying genotypes, complicating the interpretation of molecular findings for diagnosis and genetic counseling. In light of the wide clinical variability detected in carriers of D4Z4 alleles with 9-10 repeats, we applied a standardized methodology, the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Form (CCEF), to describe and characterize the phenotype of 244 individuals carrying D4Z4 alleles with 9-10 repeats (134 index cases and 110 relatives). The study shows that 54.5% of index cases display a classical FSHD phenotype with typical facial and scapular muscle weakness, whereas 20.1% present incomplete phenotype with facial weakness or scapular girdle weakness, 6.7% display minor signs such as winged scapula or hyperCKemia, without functional motor impairment, and 18.7% of index cases show more complex phenotypes with atypical clinical features. Family studies revealed that 70.9% of relatives carrying 9-10 D4Z4 reduced alleles has no motor impairment, whereas a few relatives (10.0%) display a classical FSHD phenotype. Importantly all relatives of index cases with no FSHD phenotype were healthy carriers. These data establish the low penetrance of D4Z4 alleles with 9-10 repeats. We recommend the use of CCEF for the standardized clinical assessment integrated by family studies and further molecular investigation for appropriate diagnosis and genetic counseling. Especially in presence of atypical phenotypes and/or sporadic cases with all healthy relatives is not possible to perform conclusive diagnosis of FSHD, but all these cases need further studies for a proper diagnosis, to search novel causative genetic defects or investigate environmental factors or co-morbidities that may trigger the pathogenic process. These evidences are also fundamental for the stratification of patients eligible for clinical trials. Our work reinforces the value of large genotype-phenotype studies to define criteria for clinical practice and genetic counseling in rare diseases.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78578-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730397PMC
December 2020

Nusinersen safety and effects on motor function in adult spinal muscular atrophy type 2 and 3.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 11 11;91(11):1166-1174. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua, Padova, Veneto, Italy.

Objective: To retrospectively investigate safety and efficacy of nusinersen in a large cohort of adult Italian patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Methods: Inclusion criteria were: (1) clinical and molecular diagnosis of SMA2 or SMA3; (2) nusinersen treatment started in adult age (>18 years); (3) clinical data available at least at baseline (T0-beginning of treatment) and 6 months (T6).

Results: We included 116 patients (13 SMA2 and 103 SMA3) with median age at first administration of 34 years (range 18-72). The Hammersmith Functional Rating Scale Expanded (HFMSE) in patients with SMA3 increased significantly from baseline to T6 (median change +1 point, p<0.0001), T10 (+2, p<0.0001) and T14 (+3, p<0.0001). HFMSE changes were independently significant in SMA3 sitter and walker subgroups. The Revised Upper Limb Module (RULM) in SMA3 significantly improved between T0 and T14 (median +0.5, p=0.012), with most of the benefit observed in sitters (+2, p=0.018). Conversely, patients with SMA2 had no significant changes of median HFMSE and RULM between T0 and the following time points, although a trend for improvement of RULM was observed in those with some residual baseline function. The rate of patients showing clinically meaningful improvements (as defined during clinical trials) increased from 53% to 69% from T6 to T14.

Conclusions: Our data provide further evidence of nusinersen safety and efficacy in adult SMA2 and SMA3, with the latter appearing to be cumulative over time. In patients with extremely advanced disease, effects on residual motor function are less clear.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-323822DOI Listing
November 2020

Limb girdle muscular dystrophy due to gene mutations: new mutations expand the clinical spectrum of a still challenging diagnosis.

Acta Myol 2020 Jun 1;39(2):67-82. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Dino Ferrari Center, Neurology Unit, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, IRCCS Foundation Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy.

Mutations in gene, encoding merosin, are generally responsible of a severe congenital-onset muscular dystrophy (CMD type 1A) characterized by severe weakness, merosin absence at muscle analysis and white matter alterations at brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Recently, mutations have been acknowledged as responsible of LGMD R23, despite only few cases with slowly progressive adult-onset and partial merosin deficiency have been reported. We describe 5 independent Italian subjects presenting with progressive limb girdle muscular weakness, brain white matter abnormalities, merosin deficiency and gene mutations. We detected 7 different mutations, 6 of which are new. All patients showed normal psicomotor development and slowly progressive weakness with onset spanning from childhood to forties. Creatin-kinase levels were moderately elevated. One patient showed dilated cardiomyopathy. Muscle MRI allowed to evaluate the degree and pattern of muscular involvement in all patients. Brain MRI was fundamental in order to address and/or support the molecular diagnosis, showing typical widespread white matter hyperintensity in T2-weighted sequences. Interestingly these alterations were associated with central nervous system involvement in 3 patients who presented epilepsy and migraine. Muscle biopsy commonly but not necessarily revealed dystrophic features. Western-blot was usually more accurate than immunohystochemical analysis in detecting merosin deficiency. The description of these cases further enlarges the clinical spectrum of -related disorders. Moreover, it supports the inclusion of LGMD R23 in the new classification of LGMD. The central nervous system involvement was fundamental to address the diagnosis and should be always included in the diagnostic work-up of undiagnosed LGMD.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.36185/2532-1900-009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460730PMC
June 2020

Estimating the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on services provided by Italian Neuromuscular Centers: an Italian Association of Myology survey of the acute phase.

Acta Myol 2020 Jun 1;39(2):57-66. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Dino Ferrari Centre, Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation (DEPT), Neuroscience Section, University of Milan, Italy.

Introduction: Since February 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy has forced the health care system to undergo profound rearrangements in its services and facilities, especially in the worst-hit areas in Northern Italy. In this setting, inpatient and outpatient services had to rethink and reorganize their activities to meet the needs of patients during the "lockdown". The Italian Association of Myology developed a survey to estimate the impact of these changes on patients affected by neuromuscular disorders and on specialized neuromuscular centers during the acute phase of COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We developed an electronic survey that was sent to neuromuscular centers affiliated with the Italian Association of Myology, assessing changes in pharmacological therapies provision, outpatient clinical and instrumental services, support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) and clinical trials.

Results: 40% of surveyed neuromuscular centers reported a reduction in outpatient visit and examinations (44.5% of centers in Northern regions; 25% of centers in Central regions; 50% of centers in Southern regions). Twenty-two% of centers postponed in-hospital administration of therapies for neuromuscular diseases (23.4% in Northern regions; 13.0% in Central regions; 20% in Southern regions). Diagnostic and support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) were suspended in 57% of centers (66/43/44% in Northern, Central and Southern centers respectively) Overall, the most affected services were rehabilitative services and on-site outpatient visits, which were suspended in 93% of centers. Strategies adopted by neuromuscular centers to overcome these changes included maintaining urgent on-site visits, addressing patients to available services and promoting remote contact and telemedicine.

Conclusions: Overall, COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant disruption of clinical and support services for patients with neuromuscular diseases. Despite the efforts to provide telemedicine consults to patients, this option could be promoted and improved further. A close collaboration between the different neuromuscular centers and service providers as well as further implementation of telehealth platforms are necessary to ensure quality care to NMD patients in the near future and in case of recurrent pandemic waves.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.36185/2532-1900-008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460733PMC
June 2020

New genotype-phenotype correlations in a large European cohort of patients with sarcoglycanopathy.

Brain 2020 09;143(9):2696-2708

Neuromuscular Diseases Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Sarcoglycanopathies comprise four subtypes of autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDR3, LGMDR4, LGMDR5 and LGMDR6) that are caused, respectively, by mutations in the SGCA, SGCB, SGCG and SGCD genes. In 2016, several clinicians involved in the diagnosis, management and care of patients with LGMDR3-6 created a European Sarcoglycanopathy Consortium. The aim of the present study was to determine the clinical and genetic spectrum of a large cohort of patients with sarcoglycanopathy in Europe. This was an observational retrospective study. A total of 33 neuromuscular centres from 13 different European countries collected data of the genetically confirmed patients with sarcoglycanopathy followed-up at their centres. Demographic, genetic and clinical data were collected for this study. Data from 439 patients from 13 different countries were collected. Forty-three patients were not included in the analysis because of insufficient clinical information available. A total of 159 patients had a confirmed diagnosis of LGMDR3, 73 of LGMDR4, 157 of LGMDR5 and seven of LGMDR6. Patients with LGMDR3 had a later onset and slower progression of the disease. Cardiac involvement was most frequent in LGMDR4. Sixty per cent of LGMDR3 patients carried one of the following mutations, either in a homozygous or heterozygous state: c.229C>T, c.739G>A or c.850C>T. Similarly, the most common mutations in LMGDR5 patients were c.525delT or c.848G>A. In LGMDR4 patients the most frequent mutation was c.341C>T. We identified onset of symptoms before 10 years of age and residual protein expression lower than 30% as independent risk factors for losing ambulation before 18 years of age, in LGMDR3, LGMDR4 and LGMDR5 patients. This study reports clinical, genetic and protein data of a large European cohort of patients with sarcoglycanopathy. Improving our knowledge about these extremely rare autosomal recessive forms of LGMD was helped by a collaborative effort of neuromuscular centres across Europe. Our study provides important data on the genotype-phenotype correlation that is relevant for the design of natural history studies and upcoming interventional trials in sarcoglycanopathies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa228DOI Listing
September 2020

Clinical and Molecular Spectrum of Myotonia and Periodic Paralyses Associated With Mutations in in a Large Cohort of Italian Patients.

Front Neurol 2020 29;11:646. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Neuroimmunology and Neuromuscular Diseases, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

Four main clinical phenotypes have been traditionally described in patients mutated in SCN4A, including sodium-channel myotonia (SCM), paramyotonia congenita (PMC), Hypokaliemic type II (HypoPP2), and Hyperkaliemic/Normokaliemic periodic paralysis (HyperPP/NormoPP); in addition, rare phenotypes associated with mutations in SCN4A are congenital myasthenic syndrome and congenital myopathy. However, only scarce data have been reported in literature on large patient cohorts including phenotypes characterized by myotonia and episodes of paralysis. We retrospectively investigated clinical and molecular features of 80 patients fulfilling the following criteria: (1) clinical and neurophysiological diagnosis of myotonia, or clinical diagnosis of PP, and (2) presence of a pathogenic SCN4A gene variant. Patients presenting at birth with episodic laryngospasm or congenital myopathy-like phenotype with later onset of myotonia were considered as neonatal SCN4A. PMC was observed in 36 (45%) patients, SCM in 30 (37.5%), Hyper/NormoPP in 7 (8.7%), HypoPP2 in 3 (3.7%), and neonatal SCN4A in 4 (5%). The median age at onset was significantly earlier in PMC than in SCM ( < 0.01) and in Hyper/NormoPP than in HypoPP2 ( = 0.02). Cold-induced myotonia was more frequently observed in PMC ( = 34) than in SCM ( = 23) ( = 0.04). No significant difference was found in age at onset of episodes of paralysis among PMC and PP or in frequency of permanent weakness between PP ( = 4), SCM ( = 5), and PMC ( = 10). PP was more frequently associated with mutations in the S4 region of the NaV1.4 channel protein compared to SCM and PMC ( < 0.01); mutations causing PMC were concentrated in the C-terminal region of the protein, while SCM-associated mutations were detected in all the protein domains. Our data suggest that skeletal muscle channelopathies associated with mutations in SCN4A represent a continuum in the clinical spectrum.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00646DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403394PMC
July 2020

A 5-year clinical follow-up study from the Italian National Registry for FSHD.

J Neurol 2021 Jan 19;268(1):356-366. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, via G. Campi 287, 41125, Modena, Italy.

Background: The natural history of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is undefined.

Methods: An observational cohort study was conducted in 246 FSHD1 patients. We split the analysis between index cases and carrier relatives and we classified all patients using the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Form (CCEF). The disease progression was measured as a variation of the FSHD score performed at baseline and at the end of 5-year follow-up (ΔFSHD score).

Findings: Disease worsened in 79.4% (112/141) of index cases versus 38.1% (40/105) of carrier relatives and advanced more rapidly in index cases (ΔFSHD score 2.3 versus 1.2). The 79.1% (38/48) of asymptomatic carriers remained asymptomatic. The highest ΔFSHD score (1.7) was found in subject with facial and scapular weakness at baseline (category A), whereas in subjects with incomplete phenotype (facial or scapular weakness, category B) had lower ΔFSHD score (0.6) p < 0.0001.

Conclusions: The progression of disease is different between index cases and carrier relatives and the assessment of the CCEF categories has strong prognostic effect in FSHD1 patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10144-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7815626PMC
January 2021

Transportin 3 (TNPO3) and related proteins in limb girdle muscular dystrophy D2 muscle biopsies: A morphological study and pathogenetic hypothesis.

Neuromuscul Disord 2020 08 26;30(8):685-692. Epub 2020 May 26.

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences DIBINEM, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Centre for Applied Biomedical Research - CRBA, University of Bologna, St. Orsola Hospital, Bologna, Italy. Electronic address:

LGMD D2 is a disease caused by TNPO3 mutation. We describe the expression of TNPO3 and selected proteins, likely modified by TNPO3 mutation, in muscle biopsies of affected patients. We also aim to find other genes involved in pathways correlated to TNPO3. Our morphological study on LGMD D2 muscle described the expression of TNPO3 and SRSF1, a splicing factor transported by TNPO3. Moreover, we investigated some sarcomeric and nuclear proteins, likely altered by TNPO3 mutation. Through an in silico approach we tried to identify genes involved in pathways that include, besides TNPO3 and SRSF1, p62 and Murf-1, altered in LGMD D2. In patients' muscles TNPO3 appeared weaker and randomly organized, with sporadic cytoplasmic aggregates positive for TNPO3; both SRSF1 and sarcomeric alpha actinin showed a different expression, while there were no alterations in the expression of the nuclear proteins. The in silico study lead to identify five genes, all coding for proteins responsible for muscle contraction. Our data suggest a possible interference in the morphology and function of myofibrillar network by mutated TNPO3; these findings are supported by the in silico identification of genes involved in muscle contraction that could help to explain the pathogenic mechanisms of LGMD D2.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2020.05.006DOI Listing
August 2020

Evaluation of mexiletine effect on conduction delay and bradyarrhythmic complications in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 over long-term follow-up.

Heart Rhythm 2020 11 7;17(11):1944-1950. Epub 2020 Jun 7.

Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences and Public Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Background: Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a multisystemic disorder characterized by progressive cardiac conduction impairment, arrhythmias, and sudden death. Mexiletine is a sodium channel blocker drug used by patients with DM1 for treatment of myotonia, even though definitive proof of its safety over long-term follow-up is lacking.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of mexiletine for treatment of neurological symptoms on the composite endpoint of significant electrocardiogram modification (new onset or worsening of atrioventricular [AV] or intraventricular conduction delay) and bradyarrhythmic complications requiring pacemaker (PM) implantation (advanced AV block, symptomatic sinus pause >3 seconds).

Methods: This retrospective longitudinal study included a series of consecutive patients with genetically confirmed DM1 evaluated at our neurology and cardiology clinics from January 1, 2011, to January 1, 2020, who received mexiletine 200 mg twice daily. Patients with a PM, implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, or severe conduction abnormality (PQ interval ≥230 ms, complete bundle branch block, or atrial fibrillation) at enrollment were excluded.

Results: The study comprised 18 mexiletine-treated patients and 68 mexiletine-free controls. Over median follow-up of 53 months, the endpoint was reached by 4 (22%) mexiletine-treated patients and 23 (33%) non-mexiletine-treated patients (log-rank P = .45). In 3 non-mexiletine-treated patients, bradyarrhythmic complications requiring PM implantation were observed. At univariable analysis, only the presence of mild conduction delay (first-degree AV block with PQ interval <230 ms or left anterior fascicular block) at baseline predicted the endpoint (hazard ratio 2.22; 95% confidence interval 1.04-4.76).

Conclusion: Mexiletine 200 mg twice daily is safe in patients with DM1 and no severe conduction abnormality.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2020.05.043DOI Listing
November 2020

Phenotypic Variability Among Patients With D4Z4 Reduced Allele Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 05 1;3(5):e204040. Epub 2020 May 1.

Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Importance: Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is considered an autosomal dominant disorder, associated with the deletion of tandemly arrayed D4Z4 repetitive elements. The extensive use of molecular analysis of the D4Z4 locus for FSHD diagnosis has revealed wide clinical variability, suggesting that subgroups of patients exist among carriers of the D4Z4 reduced allele (DRA).

Objective: To investigate the clinical expression of FSHD in the genetic subgroup of carriers of a DRA with 7 to 8 repeat units (RUs).

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter cross-sectional study included 422 carriers of DRA with 7 to 8 RUs (187 unrelated probands and 235 relatives) from a consecutive sample of 280 probands and 306 relatives from the Italian National Registry for FSHD collected between 2008 and 2016. Participants were evaluated by the Italian Clinical Network for FSHD, and all clinical and molecular data were collected in the Italian National Registry for FSHD database. Data analysis was conducted from January 2017 to June 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: The phenotypic classification of probands and relatives was obtained by applying the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Form which classifies patients in the 4 following categories: (1) participants presenting facial and scapular girdle muscle weakness typical of FSHD (category A, subcategories A1-A3), (2) participants with muscle weakness limited to scapular girdle or facial muscles (category B, subcategories B1 and B2), (3) asymptomatic or healthy participants (category C, subcategories C1 and C2), and (4) participants with myopathic phenotypes presenting clinical features not consistent with FSHD canonical phenotype (category D, subcategories D1 and D2).

Results: A total of 187 probands (mean [SD] age at last neurological examination, 53.5 [15.2] years; 103 [55.1%] men) and 235 relatives (mean [SD] age at last neurologic examination, 45.1 [17.0] years; 104 [44.7%] men) with a DRA with 7 to 8 RUs and a molecular diagnosis of FSHD were evaluated. Of 187 probands, 99 (52.9%; 95% CI, 45.7%-60.1%) displayed the classic FSHD phenotype, whereas 86 (47.1%; 95% CI, 39.8%-54.3%) presented incomplete or atypical phenotypes. Of 235 carrier relatives from 106 unrelated families, 124 (52.8%; 95% CI, 46.4%-59.7%) had no motor impairment, whereas a small number (38 [16.2%; 95% CI, 9.8%-23.1%]) displayed the classic FSHD phenotype, and 73 (31.0%; 95% CI, 24.7%-38.0%) presented with incomplete or atypical phenotypes. In 37 of 106 families (34.9%; 95% CI, 25.9%-44.8%), the proband was the only participant presenting with a myopathic phenotype, while only 20 families (18.9%; 95% CI, 11.9%-27.6%) had a member with autosomal dominant FSHD.

Conclusions And Relevance: This study found large phenotypic variability associated with individuals carrying a DRA with 7 to 8 RUs, in contrast to the indication that a positive molecular test is the only determining aspect for FSHD diagnosis. These findings suggest that carriers of a DRA with 7 to 8 RUs constitute a genetic subgroup different from classic FSHD. Based on these results, it is recommended that clinicians use the Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation Form for clinical classification and, whenever possible, study the extended family to provide the most adequate clinical management and genetic counseling.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.4040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7195625PMC
May 2020

Genetic modifiers of respiratory function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 05 28;7(5):786-798. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Neurosciences DNS, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Objective: Respiratory insufficiency is a major complication of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Its progression shows considerable interindividual variability, which has been less thoroughly characterized and understood than in skeletal muscle. We collected pulmonary function testing (PFT) data from a large retrospective cohort followed at Centers collaborating in the Italian DMD Network. Furthermore, we analyzed PFT associations with different DMD mutation types, and with genetic variants in SPP1, LTBP4, CD40, and ACTN3, known to modify skeletal muscle weakness in DMD. Genetic association findings were independently validated in the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group Duchenne Natural History Study (CINRG-DNHS).

Methods And Results: Generalized estimating equation analysis of 1852 PFTs from 327 Italian DMD patients, over an average follow-up time of 4.5 years, estimated that forced vital capacity (FVC) declined yearly by -4.2%, forced expiratory volume in 1 sec by -5.0%, and peak expiratory flow (PEF) by -2.9%. Glucocorticoid (GC) treatment was associated with higher values of all PFT measures (approximately + 15% across disease stages). Mutations situated 3' of DMD intron 44, thus predicted to alter the expression of short dystrophin isoforms, were associated with lower (approximately -6%) PFT values, a finding independently validated in the CINRG-DNHS. Deletions amenable to skipping of exon 51 and 53 were independently associated with worse PFT outcomes. A meta-analysis of the two cohorts identified detrimental effects of SPP1 rs28357094 and CD40 rs1883832 minor alleles on both FVC and PEF.

Interpretation: These findings support GC efficacy in delaying respiratory insufficiency, and will be useful for the design and interpretation of clinical trials focused on respiratory endpoints in DMD.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261745PMC
May 2020

A new congenital multicore titinopathy associated with fast myosin heavy chain deficiency.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 05 19;7(5):846-854. Epub 2020 Apr 19.

Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire, CHU de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.

Congenital titinopathies are myopathies with variable phenotypes and inheritance modes. Here, we fully characterized, using an integrated approach (deep phenotyping, muscle morphology, mRNA and protein evaluation in muscle biopsies), two siblings with congenital multicore myopathy harboring three TTN variants predicted to affect titin stability and titin-myosin interactions. Muscle biopsies showed multicores, type 1 fiber uniformity and sarcomeric structure disruption with some thick filament loss. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting revealed a marked reduction of fast myosin heavy chain isoforms. This is the first observation of a titinopathy suggesting that titin defect leads to secondary loss of fast myosin heavy chain isoforms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261750PMC
May 2020

Interpretation of the Epigenetic Signature of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy in Light of Genotype-Phenotype Studies.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Apr 10;21(7). Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy.

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is characterized by incomplete penetrance and intra-familial clinical variability. The disease has been associated with the genetic and epigenetic features of the D4Z4 repetitive elements at 4q35. Recently, D4Z4 hypomethylation has been proposed as a reliable marker in the FSHD diagnosis. We exploited the Italian Registry for FSHD, in which FSHD families are classified using the Clinical Comprehensive Evaluation Form (CCEF). A total of 122 index cases showing a classical FSHD phenotype (CCEF, category A) and 110 relatives were selected to test with the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the diagnostic and predictive value of D4Z4 methylation. Moreover, we performed DNA methylation analysis in selected large families with reduced penetrance characterized by the co-presence of subjects carriers of one D4Z4 reduced allele with no signs of disease or presenting the classic FSHD clinical phenotype. We observed a wide variability in the D4Z4 methylation levels among index cases revealing no association with clinical manifestation or disease severity. By extending the analysis to family members, we revealed the low predictive value of D4Z4 methylation in detecting the affected condition. In view of the variability in D4Z4 methylation profiles observed in our large cohort, we conclude that D4Z4 methylation does not mirror the clinical expression of FSHD. We recommend that measurement of this epigenetic mark must be interpreted with caution in clinical practice.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178248PMC
April 2020

The Genetic Landscape of Dystrophin Mutations in Italy: A Nationwide Study.

Front Genet 2020 3;11:131. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Unit of Medical Genetics, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

Dystrophinopathies are inherited diseases caused by mutations in the dystrophin () gene for which testing is mandatory for genetic diagnosis, reproductive choices and eligibility for personalized trials. We genotyped the gene in our Italian cohort of 1902 patients (BMD n = 740, 39%; DMD n =1162, 61%) within a nationwide study involving 11 diagnostic centers in a 10-year window (2008-2017). In DMD patients, we found deletions in 57%, duplications in 11% and small mutations in 32%. In BMD, we found deletions in 78%, duplications in 9% and small mutations in 13%. In BMD, there are a higher number of deletions, and small mutations are more frequent than duplications. Among small mutations that are generally frequent in both phenotypes, 44% of DMD and 36% of BMD are nonsense, thus, eligible for stop codon read-through therapy; 63% of all out-of-frame deletions are eligible for single exon skipping. Patients were also assigned to Italian regions and showed interesting regional differences in mutation distribution. The full genetic characterization in this large, nationwide cohort has allowed us to draw several correlations between DMD/BMD genotype landscapes and mutation frequency, mutation types, mutation locations along the gene, exon/intron architecture, and relevant protein domain, with effects on population genetic characteristics and new personalized therapies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.00131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7063120PMC
March 2020

Recognition of emotions conveyed by facial expression and body postures in myotonic dystrophy (DM).

Cortex 2020 06 19;127:58-66. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Department of Neurosciences (Padova Neuroscience Center), Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy; IRCCS San Camillo Hospital, Venice, Italy. Electronic address:

Introduction: Neuromuscular diseases may be of neuropsychological interest insofar as they may affect representations based on embodied cognition theories. Previous studies have shown impaired ability to recognize facial emotions and an association between facial emotion recognition and visuospatial abilities in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) patients. Here we examined the ability of both DM1 and DM2 patients to recognize emotions expressed by body postures and its relation, and their association with cognitive performance.

Methods: Participants included 34 DM1 patients, 8 DM2 patients, and 24 healthy control subjects. Emotional recognition ability was assessed through two computerized matching tasks (face and bodies). A neuropsychological battery was used to measure cognition in three domains and global cognition. We used univariate and adjusted linear regression models to investigate the association between cognition and emotion recognition performance.

Results: DM patients (combined DM1 and DM2) performed worse on emotional facial expression (p = .006) and body posture (p = .004) accuracy measures than healthy controls. In linear regression models, DM patients' facial expression accuracy was associated with executive function (p = .013) and visuospatial (p < .001) z-scores. Body posture accuracy was associated with visuospatial (p = .001) and memory (p = .012) z-scores. There were no associations among controls or between cognition and reaction time.

Discussion: These findings suggest that impaired emotional recognition among DM patients is also extended to emotions conveyed by body postures. Consistent with embodied cognition theories, people affected in their body and its movement may have impaired sensorimotor representation in ways that have yet to be fully understood.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2020.02.005DOI Listing
June 2020

Polyglutamine-Expanded Androgen Receptor Alteration of Skeletal Muscle Homeostasis and Myonuclear Aggregation Are Affected by Sex, Age and Muscle Metabolism.

Cells 2020 01 30;9(2). Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Dulbecco Telethon Institute, Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy.

Polyglutamine (polyQ) expansions in the androgen receptor (AR) gene cause spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), a neuromuscular disease characterized by lower motor neuron (MN) loss and skeletal muscle atrophy, with an unknown mechanism. We generated new mouse models of SBMA for constitutive and inducible expression of mutant AR and performed biochemical, histological and functional analyses of phenotype. We show that polyQ-expanded AR causes motor dysfunction, premature death, IIb-to-IIa/IIx fiber-type change, glycolytic-to-oxidative fiber-type switching, upregulation of atrogenes and autophagy genes and mitochondrial dysfunction in skeletal muscle, together with signs of muscle denervation at late stage of disease. PolyQ expansions in the AR resulted in nuclear enrichment. Within the nucleus, mutant AR formed 2% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-resistant aggregates and inclusion bodies in myofibers, but not spinal cord and brainstem, in a process exacerbated by age and sex. Finally, we found that two-week induction of expression of polyQ-expanded AR in adult mice was sufficient to cause premature death, body weight loss and muscle atrophy, but not aggregation, metabolic alterations, motor coordination and fiber-type switch, indicating that expression of the disease protein in the adulthood is sufficient to recapitulate several, but not all SBMA manifestations in mice. These results imply that chronic expression of polyQ-expanded AR, i.e. during development and prepuberty, is key to induce the full SBMA muscle pathology observed in patients. Our data support a model whereby chronic expression of polyQ-expanded AR triggers muscle atrophy through toxic (neomorphic) gain of function mechanisms distinct from normal (hypermorphic) gain of function mechanisms.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9020325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7072234PMC
January 2020

Cored in the act: the use of models to understand core myopathies.

Dis Model Mech 2019 12 19;12(12). Epub 2019 Dec 19.

Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua, Padua 35128, Italy

The core myopathies are a group of congenital myopathies with variable clinical expression - ranging from early-onset skeletal-muscle weakness to later-onset disease of variable severity - that are identified by characteristic 'core-like' lesions in myofibers and the presence of hypothonia and slowly or rather non-progressive muscle weakness. The genetic causes are diverse; central core disease is most often caused by mutations in ryanodine receptor 1 (), whereas multi-minicore disease is linked to pathogenic variants of several genes, including selenoprotein N (), and titin (). Understanding the mechanisms that drive core development and muscle weakness remains challenging due to the diversity of the excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) proteins involved and the differential effects of mutations across proteins. Because of this, the use of representative models expressing a mature ECC apparatus is crucial. Animal models have facilitated the identification of disease progression mechanisms for some mutations and have provided evidence to help explain genotype-phenotype correlations. However, many unanswered questions remain about the common and divergent pathological mechanisms that drive disease progression, and these mechanisms need to be understood in order to identify therapeutic targets. Several new transgenic animals have been described recently, expanding the spectrum of core myopathy models, including mice with patient-specific mutations. Furthermore, recent developments in 3D tissue engineering are expected to enable the study of core myopathy disease progression and the effects of potential therapeutic interventions in the context of human cells. In this Review, we summarize the current landscape of core myopathy models, and assess the hurdles and opportunities of future modeling strategies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.041368DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6955215PMC
December 2019

The Role of Motor System in Mental Rotation: New Insights from Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1.

J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2020 05 11;26(5):492-502. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Padova Neuroscience Center, Padova, Italy.

Objective: This study explored mental rotation (MR) performance in patients with myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1), an inherited neuromuscular disorder dominated by muscular symptoms, including muscle weakness and myotonia. The aim of the study was twofold: to gain new insights into the neurocognitive mechanisms of MR and to better clarify the cognitive profile of DM1 patients. To address these aims, we used MR tasks involving kinds of stimuli that varied for the extent to which they emphasized motor simulation and activation of body representations (body parts) versus visuospatial imagery (abstract objects). We hypothesized that, if peripheral sensorimotor feedback system plays a pivotal role in modulating MR performance, then DM1 patients would exhibit more difficulties in mentally rotating hand stimuli than abstract objects.

Method: Twenty-four DM1 patients and twenty-four age- and education-matched control subjects were enrolled in the study and were required to perform two computerized MR tasks involving pictures of hands and abstract objects.

Results: The analysis of accuracy showed that patients had impaired MR performance when the angular disparities between the stimuli were higher. Notably, as compared to controls, patients showed slower responses when the stimuli were hands, whereas no significant differences when stimuli were objects.

Conclusion: The findings are coherent with the embodied cognition view, indicating a tight relation between body- and motor-related processes and MR. They suggest that peripheral, muscular, abnormalities in DM1 lead to alterations in manipulation of motor representations, which in turn affect MR, especially when body parts are to mentally rotate.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617719001383DOI Listing
May 2020

Teaching an Old Molecule New Tricks: Drug Repositioning for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Nov 30;20(23). Epub 2019 Nov 30.

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Interuniversity Institute of Myology (IIM), University of Padova, via U. Bassi 58/B, 35131 Padua, Italy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most severe forms of inherited muscular dystrophies. The disease is caused by the lack of dystrophin, a structurally essential protein; hence, a definitive cure would necessarily have to pass through some form of gene and/or cell therapy. Cell- and genetic-based therapeutics for DMD have been explored since the 1990s and recently, two of the latter have been approved for clinical use, but their efficacy is still very low. In parallel, there have been great ongoing efforts aimed at targeting the downstream pathogenic effects of dystrophin deficiency using classical pharmacological approaches, with synthetic or biological molecules. However, as it is always the case with rare diseases, R&D costs for new drugs can represent a major hurdle for researchers and patients alike. This problem can be greatly alleviated by experimenting the use of molecules that had originally been developed for different conditions, a process known as drug repurposing or drug repositioning. In this review, we will describe the state of the art of such an approach for DMD, both in the context of clinical trials and pre-clinical studies
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6929176PMC
November 2019

European muscle MRI study in limb girdle muscular dystrophy type R1/2A (LGMDR1/LGMD2A).

J Neurol 2020 Jan 25;267(1):45-56. Epub 2019 Sep 25.

APHP, Department of Radiology, Garches Neuromuscular Center (GNMH), Raymond Poincaré University Hospital (UVSQ, U 1179), Garches, France.

Background: Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type R1/2A (LGMDR1/LGMD2A) is a progressive myopathy caused by deficiency of calpain 3, a calcium-dependent cysteine protease of skeletal muscle, and it represents the most frequent type of LGMD worldwide. In the last few years, muscle magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been proposed as a tool for identifying patterns of muscular involvement in genetic disorders and as a biomarker of disease progression in muscle diseases. In this study, 57 molecularly confirmed LGMDR1 patients from a European cohort (age range 7-78 years) underwent muscle MRI and a global evaluation of functional status (Gardner-Medwin and Walton score and ability to raise the arms).

Results: We confirmed a specific pattern of fatty substitution involving predominantly the hip adductors and hamstrings in lower limbs. Spine extensors were more severely affected than spine rotators, in agreement with higher incidence of lordosis than scoliosis in LGMDR1. Hierarchical clustering of lower limb MRI scores showed that involvement of anterior thigh muscles discriminates between classes of disease progression. Severity of muscle fatty substitution was significantly correlated with CAPN3 mutations: in particular, patients with no or one "null" alleles showed a milder involvement, compared to patients with two null alleles (i.e., predicting absence of calpain-3 protein). Expectedly, fat infiltration scores strongly correlated with functional measures. The "pseudocollagen" sign (central areas of sparing in some muscle) was associated with longer and more severe disease course.

Conclusions: We conclude that skeletal muscle MRI represents a useful tool in the diagnostic workup and clinical management of LGMDR1.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-019-09539-yDOI Listing
January 2020