Publications by authors named "Eugen Mengel"

84 Publications

Validation of the 5-domain Niemann-Pick type C Clinical Severity Scale.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021 02 12;16(1):79. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Folkestone, Kent, UK.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is an ultra-rare, progressive, genetic disease leading to impaired lysosomal function and neurodegeneration causing serious morbidity and shortened life expectancy. The Niemann-Pick type C Clinical Severity Scale (NPCCSS) is a 17 domain, disease-specific, clinician-reported outcome measure of disease severity and progression. An abbreviated 5-domain NPCCSS scale has been developed (measuring Ambulation, Swallow, Cognition, Speech, and Fine Motor Skills) and the scale reliability has been established. Additional psychometric properties and meaningful change of the scale need, however, to be assessed.

Methods: Mixed method studies were conducted to ascertain which NPCCSS domains were most important, as well as to explore meaningful change: 1) surveys in caregivers/patients (n = 49) and 2) interviews with clinicians (n = 5) as well as caregivers/patients (n = 28). Clinical trial data (n = 43) assessed construct validity and meaningful change through an anchor-based approach.

Results: Domains identified as most important by clinicians, caregivers, and patients (independent of current age, age of onset, and disease severity) were Ambulation, Swallow, Cognition, Speech, and Fine Motor Skills, indicating content validity of the 5-domain NPCCSS. Criterion validity was shown with the 5-domain NPCCSS being highly correlated with the 17-item NPCCSS total score (excluding hearing domains), r = 0.97. Convergent validity was demonstrated against the 9 Hole Peg Test, r = 0.65 (n = 31 patients), and the Scale for Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA), r = 0.86 (n = 49 patients). Any change was seen as meaningful by patients/caregivers across domains. Meaningful change using trial data and interviews with NPC experts (n = 5) and patients/caregivers (n = 28) suggested that a 1-category change on a domain is equivalent to 1-point change or greater in the 5-domain NPCCSS total score.

Conclusions: Qualitative and quantitative data support content and construct validity of the 5-domain NPCCSS score as a valid endpoint in NPC trials. A 1-category change on any domain is equivalent to 1-point change or greater in the 5 domain NPCCSS total score, representing a clinically meaningful transition and reflecting loss of complex function and increased disability. Trial registration NCT02612129. Registered 23 November 2015, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02612129.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-01719-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881637PMC
February 2021

The patient journey of patients with Fabry disease, Gaucher disease and Mucopolysaccharidosis type II: A German-wide telephone survey.

PLoS One 2020 31;15(12):e0244279. Epub 2020 Dec 31.

IGES Institut GmbH, Department Health Services Research, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Lysosomal Storage Diseases (LSD) are rare and multisytemic diseases which are caused by lysosomal enzyme deficiencies leading into accumulation of waste products due to an interruption in the decomposition process. Due to the low prevalence and therefore limited disease awareness as well as the fact that LSD patients present with unspecific symptoms the final diagnosis is often made after a long delay. The aim of this German-wide survey was to characterize the period between onset of symptoms and final diagnosis regarding e.g. self-perceived health, symptom burden and false diagnoses for patients with selected LSDs (Fabry disease (FD), Gaucher disease (GD) and Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II).

Methods: The study was conducted as a telephone based cross-sectional survey. All patients living in Germany with a confirmed diagnosis of FD, GD or MPS II were eligible to participate. The questionnaire was provided in advance in order to enable the participants to prepare for the interview. Only descriptive analyses were carried out. Single analyses were not carried out for all three patient groups due low case numbers.

Results: Of the overall population, 39 patients have been diagnosed with FD, 19 with GD and 11 with MPS II with the majority of patients being index patients. The majority of FD patients reported their current health status as "satisfactory" or better (79.5%). Self-perceived health status was observed to be at least stable or improving for the majority of FD patients compared to the year prior to diagnosis. The most frequently reported symptoms for patients with FD were paraesthesias (51.3%), whereas patients with GD reported a tendency for bleeding, blue spots or coagulation disorder (63.2%) as well as hepatomegaly and/or splenomegaly (63.2%) as the most commonly appearing symptoms. The number of patients reporting misdiagnoses was n = 5 (13.5%) for patients with FD and n = 5 (27.8%) for patients with GD. The median duration of the diagnostic delay was 21.0 years for FD, 20.0 years for GD and 2.0 years for MPS II.

Conclusions: This study showed that self-perceived status of health for patients might improve once the final correct diagnoses has been made and specific treatment was available. Furthermore, it was observed that diagnostic delay is still high in Germany for a relevant proportion of affected patients. Further challenges in the future will still be to increase awareness for these diseases across the entire healthcare sector to minimize the diagnostic delay.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244279PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7775043PMC
March 2021

Clinical disease progression and biomarkers in Niemann-Pick disease type C: a prospective cohort study.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 11 23;15(1):328. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Orphazyme A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disease associated with neurovisceral manifestations resulting from lysosomal dysfunction and aberrant lipid accumulation. A multicentre, prospective observational study (Clinical Trials.gov ID: NCT02435030) of individuals with genetically confirmed NPC1 or NPC2 receiving routine clinical care was conducted, to prospectively characterize and measure NPC disease progression and to investigate potential NPC-related biomarkers versus healthy individuals. Progression was measured using the abbreviated 5-domain NPC Clinical Severity Scale (NPCCSS), 17-domain NPCCSS and NPC clinical database (NPC-cdb) score. Cholesterol esterification and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) levels were assessed from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), cholestane-3β,5α-,6β-triol (cholestane-triol) from serum, and unesterified cholesterol from both PBMCs and skin biopsy samples. The inter- and intra-rater reliability of the 5-domain NPCCSS was assessed by 13 expert clinicians' rating of four participants via video recordings, repeated after ≥ 3 weeks. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated.

Results: Of the 36 individuals with NPC (2-18 years) enrolled, 31 (86.1%) completed the 6-14-month observation period; 30/36 (83.3%) were receiving miglustat as part of routine clinical care. A mean (± SD) increase in 5-domain NPCCSS scores of 1.4 (± 2.9) was observed, corresponding to an annualized progression rate of 1.5. On the 17-domain NPCCSS, a mean (± SD) progression of 2.7 (± 4.0) was reported. Compared with healthy individuals, the NPC population had significantly lower levels of cholesterol esterification (p < 0.0001), HSP70 (p < 0.0001) and skin unesterified cholesterol (p = 0.0006). Cholestane-triol levels were significantly higher in individuals with NPC versus healthy individuals (p = 0.008) and correlated with the 5-domain NPCCSS (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.265, p = 0.0411). The 5-domain NPCCSS showed high ICC agreement in inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.995) and intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.937).

Conclusions: Progression rates observed were consistent with other reports on disease progression in NPC. The 5-domain NPCCSS reliability study supports its use as an abbreviated alternative to the 17-domain NPCCSS that focuses on the most relevant domains of the disease. The data support the use of cholestane-triol as a disease monitoring biomarker and the novel methods of measuring unesterified cholesterol could be applicable to support NPC diagnosis. Levels of HSP70 in individuals with NPC were significantly decreased compared with healthy individuals.

Trial Registration: CT-ORZY-NPC-001: ClincalTrials.gov NCT02435030, Registered 6 May 2015, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02435030 ; EudraCT 2014-005,194-37, Registered 28 April 2015, https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2014-005194-37/DE . OR-REL-NPC-01: Unregistered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01616-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7684888PMC
November 2020

Quantitative retrospective natural history modeling for orphan drug development.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2021 Jan 8;44(1):99-109. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Division of Pediatric Neurology and Metabolic Medicine, Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

The natural history of most rare diseases is incompletely understood and usually relies on studies with low level of evidence. Consistent with the goals for future research of rare disease research set by the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium in 2017, the purpose of this paper is to review the recently developed method of quantitative retrospective natural history modeling (QUARNAM) and to illustrate its usefulness through didactically selected analyses examples in an overall population of 849 patients worldwide with seven (ultra-) rare neurogenetic disorders. A quantitative understanding of the natural history of the disease is fundamental for the development of specific interventions and counseling afflicted families. QUARNAM has a similar relationship to a published case study as a meta-analysis has to an individual published study. QUARNAM relies on sophisticated statistical analyses of published case reports focusing on four research questions: How long does it take to make the diagnosis? How long do patients live? Which factors predict disease severity (eg, genotypes, signs/symptoms, biomarkers)? Where can patients be recruited for studies? Useful statistical techniques include Kaplan-Meier estimates, cluster analysis, regression techniques, binary decisions trees, word clouds, and geographic mapping. In comparison to other natural history study methods (prospective studies or retrospective studies such as chart reviews), QUARNAM can provide fast information on hard clinical endpoints (ie, survival, diagnostic delay) with a lower effort. The choice of method for a particular drug development program may be driven by the research question and may encompass combinatory approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12304DOI Listing
January 2021

Treatment outcomes following continuous miglustat therapy in patients with Niemann-Pick disease Type C: a final report of the NPC Registry.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 04 25;15(1):104. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Institut Pediatric Hospital Sant Joan, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Passeig de Sant Joan de Deu, 2, 08950, Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NP-C) is a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive neurodegeneration and premature death. We report data at closure of the NPC Registry that describes the natural history, disease course and treatment experience of NP-C patients in a real-world setting.

Methods: The NPC Registry was a prospective observational cohort study that ran between September 2009 and October 2017. Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of NP-C were enrolled regardless of treatment status. All patients underwent clinical assessments and medical care as determined by their physicians; data were collected through a secure internet-based portal.

Results: At closure on October 19, 2017, 472 patients from 22 countries were enrolled in the NPC Registry. Mean (standard deviation) age at enrollment was 21.2 (15.0) years, and 51.9% of patients were male. First neurological symptom onset occurred during the early-infantile (< 2 years), late-infantile (2 to < 6 years), juvenile (6 to < 15 years), or adolescent/adult (≥ 15 years) periods in 13.5, 25.6, 31.8, and 29.1% of cases, respectively. The most frequent neurological manifestations prior to enrollment included ataxia (67.9%), vertical supranuclear gaze palsy (67.4%), dysarthria (64.7%), cognitive impairment (62.7%), dysphagia (49.1%), and dystonia (40.2%). During infancy, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly were frequent (n = 199/398 [50%] and n = 147/397 [37.0%], respectively) and persisted in most affected patients. Of the 472 enrolled patients, 241 were continuously treated with miglustat during the NPC Registry observation period, of whom 172 of these 241 patients were treated continuously for ≥12 months. A composite disability score that assesses impairment of ambulation, manipulation, language, and swallowing was highest in the early-infantile population and lowest in the adolescent/adult population. Among the continuous miglustat therapy population, 70.5% of patients had improved or had stable disease (at least 3 of the 4 domains having a decreased or unchanged score between enrollment and last follow-up). The NPC Registry did not identify any new safety signals associated with miglustat therapy.

Conclusions: The profiles of clinical manifestations in the final NPC Registry dataset agreed with previous clinical descriptions. Miglustat therapy was associated with a stabilization of neurological manifestations in most patients. The safety and tolerability of miglustat therapy was consistent with previous reports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01363-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7183679PMC
April 2020

FDA orphan drug designations for lysosomal storage disorders - a cross-sectional analysis.

PLoS One 2020 8;15(4):e0230898. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Division of Pediatric Neurology and Metabolic Medicine, Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: To provide a quantitative clinical-regulatory insight into the status of FDA orphan drug designations for compounds intended to treat lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs).

Methods: Assessment of the drug pipeline through analysis of the FDA database for orphan drug designations with descriptive and comparative statistics.

Results: Between 1983 and 2019, 124 orphan drug designations were granted by the FDA for compounds intended to treat 28 lysosomal storage diseases. Orphan drug designations focused on Gaucher disease (N = 16), Pompe disease (N = 16), Fabry disease (N = 10), MPS II (N = 10), MPS I (N = 9), and MPS IIIA (N = 9), and included enzyme replacement therapies, gene therapies, and small molecules, and others. Twenty-three orphan drugs were approved for the treatment of 11 LSDs. Gaucher disease (N = 6), cystinosis (N = 5), Pompe disease (N = 3), and Fabry disease (N = 2) had multiple approvals, CLN2, LAL-D, MPS I, II, IVA, VI, and VII one approval each. This is an increase of nine more approved drugs and four more treatable LSDs (CLN2, MPS VII, LAL-D, and MPS IVA) since 2013. Mean time between orphan drug designation and FDA approval was 89.7 SD 55.00 (range 8-203, N = 23) months.

Conclusions: The drug development pipeline for LSDs is growing and evolving, with increased focus on diverse small-molecule targets and gene therapy. CLN2 was the first and only LSD with an approved therapy directly targeted to the brain. Newly approved products included "me-too"-enzymes and innovative compounds such as the first pharmacological chaperone for the treatment of Fabry disease.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230898PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7141691PMC
July 2020

The definition of neuronopathic Gaucher disease.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2020 09 3;43(5):1056-1059. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Gaucher Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD) has a very wide clinical and genotypic spectrum. However, there is no consensus definition of nGD, including no description of how best to diagnostically separate the acute form-Gaucher type 2-from the subacute or chronic form-Gaucher type 3. In this article, we define the various forms of Gaucher disease with particular emphasis on the presence of gaze palsy in all patients with nGD. This consensus definition will help in both clinical diagnosis and appropriate patient recruitment to upcoming clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7540563PMC
September 2020

A non-invasive diagnostic assay for rapid detection and characterization of aberrant mRNA-splicing by nonsense mediated decay inhibition.

Mol Genet Metab 2020 05 19;130(1):27-35. Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medical Center Mainz, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131 Mainz, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Interpretation of genetic variants detected by sequencing of genomic DNA, which may cause splicing defects, regularly requires mRNA analysis. Usually, only bioinformatic testing is provided, because simple and non-invasive assay protocols are lacking. Furthermore, the detection of mis-splicing is often hampered by nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD).

Methods: Starting from a case of Pompe disease with two potential splicing variants an assay for the analysis of splice defects in general was developed. We analyzed the transcripts from the gene of interest by standard methods after short-term culture of the patient's lymphocytes in the presence and absence of a NMD inhibitor. Variant and wild type transcript expression were quantified by allele specific PCR in the patient and both parents and the expression ratio with/without NMD inhibition was calculated for each transcript.

Results: NMD detection in lymphocytes was optimized and evaluated by analyzing a naturally occurring NMD transcript. Several compounds inhibited NMD successfully, including potential therapeutic agents. Sample storage for up to 4 days at room temperature prior to lymphocyte isolation did not affect results. In a proof of concept we identified two candidate variants as severe splicing variants in a patient with Pompe disease, but the strategy can also be used to screen for any mis-spliced transcripts prone to NMD.

Conclusions: We developed a simple, non-invasive assay for the detection and characterization of potential splicing variants. This is essential, because early and near-term diagnosis and disease classification is required to facilitate therapy in many genetic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.03.002DOI Listing
May 2020

Diagnosis and Care of Infants and Children with Pompe Disease.

Klin Padiatr 2020 Feb 18. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

Kinderklinik 1, Universitätsklinik Essen, Essen, Germany.

Pompe disease is a rare metabolic myopathy caused by deficiency of lysosomal α-glucosidase. Reduced enzyme activity results in abnormal intra- and extralysosomal glycogen deposition as well as impaired cellular function and autophagy. Age at manifestation and severity of disease depend on residual enzyme activity. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is available since 2006. In infantile onset Pompe disease, the most severe form, markedly prolonged survival has resulted in a new phenotype with symptoms and problems not encountered previously. In addition, it became apparent that antibody formation against the recombinant human enzyme may adversely affect the response to ERT. This review summarizes new knowledge gained in the last years concerning care of pediatric patients with Pompe disease and gives recommendations for diagnostics, treatment, and follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1110-7335DOI Listing
February 2020

Extent, impact, and predictors of diagnostic delay in Pompe disease: A combined survey approach to unveil the diagnostic odyssey.

JIMD Rep 2019 Sep 17;49(1):89-95. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Division of Metabolism and Children's Research Centre University Children's Hospital Zurich Switzerland.

Background: Early diagnosis is of substantial benefit for patients with Pompe disease. Yet underdiagnosing and substantial diagnostic delay are still frequent and the determinants of this are unknown. This study is the first to systematically investigate the diagnostic odyssey in Pompe disease from patients', parents', and physicians' perspectives.

Methods: Patients with infantile or late onset Pompe disease, their parents as well as their metabolic experts were invited to fill in respective surveys. The survey addressed perceived disease symptoms at onset and during the course of the disease, specialties of involved physicians, activities of patient-initiated search for diagnosis and the perceived impact of time to diagnosis on outcome. Results of experts' and patients'/parents' surveys were compared and expressed by descriptive statistics.

Results And Discussion: We collected data on 15 males and 17 females including 9 infantile and 23 late onset Pompe patients. All received the correct diagnosis at a metabolic or musculoskeletal expert center. Patients with direct referral to the expert center had the lowest diagnostic delay, while patients who were seen by several physicians, received the correct diagnosis after 44%-200% longer delay. The proportion of direct referral varied strongly between pediatricians (57%) and other disciplines (18%-36%).

Conclusion: Our study highlights a substantially larger diagnostic delay in Pompe patients that are not directly referred to expert centers for diagnostic work. Our findings may be used to develop more successful strategies for early diagnosis.

Synopsis: Diagnostic delay in Pompe disease is substantial particularly in patients that are not directly referred to expert centers for diagnostic workup, so facilitating direct referral may be a new strategy for early diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmd2.12062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6718115PMC
September 2019

Diagnostic performance evaluation of sulfate-conjugated cholesterol metabolites as urinary biomarkers of Niemann-Pick disease type C.

Clin Chim Acta 2019 Jul 12;494:58-63. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University Hospital, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan; Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-Ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder with progressive neuronal degeneration. Because conventional diagnostic methods are complicated and invasive, biomarker tests have drawn attention. We aimed to evaluate three urinary conjugated cholesterol metabolites as diagnostic biomarkers for NPC.

Methods: Urine samples from 23 patients with NPC, 28 healthy controls, and 7 patients with inherited metabolic disorders were analyzed. 3β-Sulfooxy-7β-N-acetylglucosaminyl-5-cholen-24-oic acid and its glycine and taurine conjugates in urine were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The diagnostic performance of the three metabolites and their total concentration was evaluated.

Result: Creatinine-corrected concentrations of three metabolites and their total concentration were all significantly higher in NPC patients (0.0098 < P < .0448). The area under the receiver operating curve for all metabolites exceeded 0.95, the clinical specificity was 92-100%, and the clinical sensitivity was ~95%. In the urine of patients with other inherited metabolic diseases, the concentrations of the metabolites were lower than those in the urine of patients with NPC.

Conclusion: These conjugated cholesterol metabolites in urine can serve as useful diagnostic markers for noninvasive screening of NPC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2019.03.1610DOI Listing
July 2019

Recommendations for clinical monitoring of patients with acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD).

Mol Genet Metab 2019 02 29;126(2):98-105. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Stony Brook University, School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.

Background: Acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD), a rare lysosomal storage disease, results from mutations in SMPD1, the gene encoding acid sphingomyelinase (ASM). As a result, sphingomyelin accumulates in multiple organs including spleen, liver, lung, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and in the most severe form, in the CNS and peripheral nerves. Clinical manifestations range from rapidly progressive and fatal infantile neurovisceral disease, to less rapidly progressing chronic neurovisceral and visceral forms that are associated with significant morbidity and shorter life span due to respiratory or liver disease.

Objectives: To provide a contemporary guide of clinical assessments for disease monitoring and symptom management across the spectrum of ASMD phenotypes.

Methods: An international group of ASMD experts in various research and clinical fields used an evidence-informed consensus process to identify optimal assessments, interventions, and lifestyle modifications.

Results: Clinical assessment strategies for major organ system involvement, including liver, spleen, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological/developmental are described, as well as symptomatic treatments, interventions, and/or life style modifications that may lessen disease impact.

Conclusions: There is currently no disease-specific treatment for ASMD, although enzyme replacement therapy with a recombinant human ASM (olipudase alfa) is in clinical development. Current monitoring addresses symptoms and multisystem involvement. Recommended interventions and lifestyle modifications are designed to address morbidity and disease complications and improve patient quality of life. While infantile neurovisceral ASMD is uniformly fatal in early childhood, patients with chronic visceral and chronic neurovisceral ASMD require appropriate management throughout childhood and adulthood by an interdisciplinary clinical team.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2018.11.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7249497PMC
February 2019

Retrospective Analysis of Whole-Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Bone Manifestations in Long-Term Treated Patients with Gaucher Disease Type 1.

Klin Padiatr 2019 Mar 27;231(2):52-59. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Section of Pediatric Radiology, Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.

Purpose: We retrospectively assessed bone and visceral manifestations in patients with Gaucher disease type 1 (GD1) with whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) to determine the effects of different timing in initiating long-term enzyme replacement therapy.

Materials And Methods: In 17 patients with GD1, we performed 2 WB-MRI examinations at a median interval of 13 months. Patients had received enzyme replacement therapy with alglucerase/imiglucerase for a median of 13 years prior to the first examination. MRI results were retrospectively stratified based on treatment initiation into 2 groups: "early" (age ≤12 years, median 5 years) and "late" (during adulthood, median 32 years). We evaluated occurrence of irreversible avascular necroses (AVN) and applied several semi-quantitative scores, including the Bone-Marrow-Burden (BMB) score, the Düsseldorf-Gaucher score (DGS), the Vertebra-Disc-Ratio (VDR), and the Gaucher disease type 1 Severity Scoring System (GD-DS3).

Results: MRI assessments showed no AVN in the "early" group. AVN were observed in 2 patients of the "late" group; one also had a splenic Gaucheroma. The follow-up examinations showed slight improvements in the BMB-score, DGS, and VDR, with similar tendencies in both treatment groups. The GD-DS3 score only improved in "late" group.

Conclusion: This retrospective study supported the ongoing clinical value of enzyme replacement therapy with alglucerase/imiglucerase, as WB-MRI-based scores stayed constant or slightly improved even after long-term treatment. Secondary complications were only observed in the late treatment group. Our results suggest that "early initiation" of enzyme replacement therapy may protect the bone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0788-8795DOI Listing
March 2019

Presenting signs and patient co-variables in Gaucher disease: outcome of the Gaucher Earlier Diagnosis Consensus (GED-C) Delphi initiative.

Intern Med J 2019 05;49(5):578-591

Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Background: Gaucher disease (GD) presents with a range of signs and symptoms. Physicians can fail to recognise the early stages of GD owing to a lack of disease awareness, which can lead to significant diagnostic delays and sometimes irreversible but avoidable morbidities.

Aim: The Gaucher Earlier Diagnosis Consensus (GED-C) initiative aimed to identify signs and co-variables considered most indicative of early type 1 and type 3 GD, to help non-specialists identify 'at-risk' patients who may benefit from diagnostic testing.

Methods: An anonymous, three-round Delphi consensus process was deployed among a global panel of 22 specialists in GD (median experience 17.5 years, collectively managing almost 3000 patients). The rounds entailed data gathering, then importance ranking and establishment of consensus, using 5-point Likert scales and scoring thresholds defined a priori.

Results: For type 1 disease, seven major signs (splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia, bone-related manifestations, anaemia, hyperferritinaemia, hepatomegaly and gammopathy) and two major co-variables (family history of GD and Ashkenazi-Jewish ancestry) were identified. For type 3 disease, nine major signs (splenomegaly, oculomotor disturbances, thrombocytopenia, epilepsy, anaemia, hepatomegaly, bone pain, motor disturbances and kyphosis) and one major co-variable (family history of GD) were identified. Lack of disease awareness, overlooking mild early signs and failure to consider GD as a diagnostic differential were considered major barriers to early diagnosis.

Conclusion: The signs and co-variables identified in the GED-C initiative as potentially indicative of early GD will help to guide non-specialists and raise their index of suspicion in identifying patients potentially suitable for diagnostic testing for GD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imj.14156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6852187PMC
May 2019

Annual severity increment score as a tool for stratifying patients with Niemann-Pick disease type C and for recruitment to clinical trials.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2018 08 16;13(1):143. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QT, UK.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a lysosomal storage disease with a heterogeneous neurodegenerative clinical course. Multiple therapies are in clinical trials and inclusion criteria are currently mainly based on age and neurological signs, not taking into consideration differential individual rates of disease progression.

Results: In this study, we have evaluated a simple metric, denoted annual severity increment score (ASIS), that measures rate of disease progression and could easily be used in clinical practice. We show that ASIS is stable over several years and can be used to stratify patients for clinical trials. It achieves greater homogeneity of the study cohort relative to age-based inclusion and provides an evidence-based approach for establishing inclusion/exclusion criteria. In addition, we show that ASIS has prognostic value and demonstrate that treatment with an experimental therapy - acetyl-DL-leucine - is associated with a reduction in ASIS scores.

Conclusion: ASIS has the potential to be a useful metric for clinical monitoring, trial recruitment, for prognosis and measuring response to therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-018-0880-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6097294PMC
August 2018

Observational Prospective Natural History of Patients with Sanfilippo Syndrome Type B.

J Pediatr 2018 06 13;197:198-206.e2. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Shire, Lexington, MA.

Objective: To evaluate the natural course of disease progression in patients with Sanfilippo syndrome type B (mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB), identify potential end points for future therapy trials, and characterize biomarkers related to the disease.

Study Design: A prospective, multicenter study was conducted. Baseline, 6-month, and 12-month assessments included neurodevelopmental status (Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third edition), adaptive status (Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition), volumetric brain magnetic resonance imaging, cerebrospinal fluid heparan sulfate, and urine glycosaminoglycan (GAG) measurements.

Results: Nineteen patients aged 1.6-31.7 years were enrolled. Over 12 months, cognition, adaptive behavior, and cortical gray matter volume (GMV) declined in most patients. For patients diagnosed at <6 years, although there was no overall mean change over 12 months, there were 10%-48%, 3%-66%, and 1%-14% decreases in cognitive development quotient score, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition development quotient score, and cortical GMV in 8/12, 9/11, and 10/11 patients, respectively. Mean urine GAG and cerebrospinal fluid heparan sulfate levels were stable, but patients diagnosed at <6 years (n = 14) had higher levels than those ≥6 years at diagnosis (n = 4), which was likely associated with age as they also were generally younger.

Conclusions: Cognition, adaptive behavior, and cortical GMV measures sensitively tracked deterioration in patients with mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB aged ≤8.6 years. Biomarkers may have prognostic value, but their sensitivity to disease progression requires further investigation. These findings should help evaluate enzyme replacement and gene therapy agents for this rare, devastating, neurodegenerative disease.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01509768.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.01.044DOI Listing
June 2018

Consensus clinical management guidelines for Niemann-Pick disease type C.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2018 04 6;13(1):50. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

Mayo 1290 Clinic Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Minnesota, USA.

Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) is a progressive and life limiting autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in either the NPC1 or NPC2 gene. Mutations in these genes are associated with abnormal endosomal-lysosomal trafficking, resulting in the accumulation of multiple tissue specific lipids in the lysosomes. The clinical spectrum of NPC disease ranges from a neonatal rapidly progressive fatal disorder to an adult-onset chronic neurodegenerative disease. The age of onset of the first (beyond 3 months of life) neurological symptom may predict the severity of the disease and determines life expectancy.NPC has an estimated incidence of ~ 1: 100,000 and the rarity of the disease translate into misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and barriers to good care. For these reasons, we have developed clinical guidelines that define standard of care for NPC patients, foster shared care arrangements between expert centres and family physicians, and empower patients. The information contained in these guidelines was obtained through a systematic review of the literature and the experiences of the authors in their care of patients with NPC. We adopted the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE II) system as method of choice for the guideline development process. We made a series of conclusive statements and scored them according to level of evidence, strengths of recommendations and expert opinions. These guidelines can inform care providers, care funders, patients and their carers of best practice of care for patients with NPC. In addition, these guidelines have identified gaps in the knowledge that must be filled by future research. It is anticipated that the implementation of these guidelines will lead to a step change in the quality of care for patients with NPC irrespective of their geographical location.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-018-0785-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889539PMC
April 2018

Oculomotor and Vestibular Findings in Gaucher Disease Type 3 and Their Correlation with Neurological Findings.

Front Neurol 2017 15;8:711. Epub 2018 Jan 15.

German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.

Objectives: To evaluate the function of the oculomotor and vestibular systems and to correlate these findings with the clinical status of patients with Gaucher disease type 3 (GD3). The goal of this cross-sectional and longitudinal study was to find oculomotor biomarkers for future clinical trials.

Methods: Twenty-six patients with GD3 were assessed for eligibility and 21 were able to perform at least one task. Horizontal and vertical reflexive saccades, smooth pursuit, gaze-holding, optokinetic nystagmus, and horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) were examined by video-oculography/video-head impulse test and compared concurrently with 33 healthy controls. The Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA), the modified Severity Scoring Tool (mSST), and Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) were administered to assess overall neurological function. Eleven patients were also re-assessed after 1 year.

Results: Nine out of 17 patients exhibited gaze-holding deficits. One patient had upbeat nystagmus. Three patients presented with bilateral abducens palsy in combination with central oculomotor disorders, suggesting a bilateral involvement of the abducens nucleus. Horizontal angular VOR gain was reduced in all patients (0.66 ± 0.37) compared with controls (1.1 ± 0.11,  < 0.001). Most strongly correlated with clinical rating scales were peak velocity of downward saccades (SARA: ρ = -0.752,  < 0.0005; mSST: ρ = -0.611,  = 0.003; GPT: ρ = -0.649,  = 0.005) and duration of vertical saccades (SARA: ρ = 0.806,  < 0.001; mSST: ρ = 0.700,  < 0.0005; GPT: ρ = 0.558,  = 0.02) together with the VOR gain (SARA: ρ = -0.63,  = 0.016; mSST: ρ = -0.725,  = 0.003; GPT: ρ = -0.666,  = 0.004). Vertical smooth pursuit gain decreased significantly at follow-up.

Interpretation: This study shows neuronal degeneration of the brainstem and cerebellum with combined involvement of both supranuclear and nuclear oculomotor structures and the vestibular system in GD3. We also identified oculomotor parameters that correlate with the neurological status and can be used as biomarkers in future clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5775219PMC
January 2018

Quantification of intramuscular fat in patients with late-onset Pompe disease by conventional magnetic resonance imaging for the long-term follow-up of enzyme replacement therapy.

PLoS One 2018 9;13(1):e0190784. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Section of Pediatric Radiology, Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate a quantitative method based on conventional T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to assess fatty muscular degeneration in patients with late-onset Pompe disease and to compare it with semi-quantitative visual evaluation (the Mercuri score). In addition, a long-term retrospective data analysis was performed to evaluate treatment response to enzyme replacement therapy with alglucosidase alfa.

Methods: MR images of the lumbar spine were acquired in 41 patients diagnosed with late-onset Pompe disease from 2006 through 2015. Two independent readers retrospectively evaluated fatty degeneration of the psoas and paraspinal muscles by applying the Mercuri score. Quantitative semi-automated muscle and fat tissue separation was performed, and inter-observer agreement and correlations with clinical parameters were assessed. Follow-up examinations were performed in 13 patients treated with alglucosidase alfa after a median of 39 months; in 7/13 patients, an additional follow-up examination was completed after a median of 63 months.

Results: Inter-observer agreement was high. Measurements derived from the quantitative method correlated well with Medical Research Council scores of muscle strength, with moderate correlations found for the 6-minute walk test, the 4-step stair climb test, and spirometry in the supine position. A significant increase in the MR-derived fat fraction of the psoas muscle was found between baseline and follow-up 1 (P = 0.016), as was a significant decrease in the performance on the 6-minute walk test (P = 0.006) and 4-step stair climb test (P = 0.034), as well as plasma creatine kinase (P = 0.016). No statistically significant difference in clinical or MR-derived parameters was found between follow-up 1 and follow-up 2.

Conclusions: Quantification of fatty muscle degeneration using the semi-automated method can provide a more detailed overview of disease progression than semi-quantitative Mercuri scoring. MR-derived data correlated with clinical symptoms and patient exercise capacity. After an initial worsening, the fat fraction of the psoas muscle and performance on the 6-minute walk test stayed constant during long-term follow-up under enzyme replacement therapy.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0190784PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5760036PMC
February 2018

Psychiatric and neurological symptoms in patients with Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C): Findings from the International NPC Registry.

World J Biol Psychiatry 2019 04 9;20(4):310-319. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

h Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine , Mayo Clinic , Rochester , MN , USA.

Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C) is a rare inherited neurovisceral disease that should be recognised by psychiatrists as a possible underlying cause of psychiatric abnormalities. This study describes NP-C patients who had psychiatric manifestations at enrolment in the international NPC Registry, a unique multicentre, prospective, observational disease registry. Treating physicians' data entries describing psychiatric manifestations in NPC patients were coded and grouped by expert psychiatrists. Out of 386 NP-C patients included in the registry as of October 2015, psychiatric abnormalities were reported to be present in 34% (94/280) of those with available data. Forty-four patients were confirmed to have identifiable psychiatric manifestations, with text describing these psychiatric manifestations. In these 44 patients, the median (range) age at onset of psychiatric manifestations was 17.9 years (2.5-67.9; = 15), while the median (range) age at NP-C diagnosis was 23.7 years (0.2-69.8;  = 34). Almost all patients (43/44; 98%) had an occurrence of ≥1 neurological manifestation at enrolment. These data show that substantial delays in diagnosis of NP-C are long among patients with psychiatric symptoms and, moreover, patients presenting with psychiatric features and at least one of cognitive impairment, neurological manifestations, and/or visceral symptoms should be screened for NP-C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15622975.2017.1379610DOI Listing
April 2019

Exploring the patient journey to diagnosis of Gaucher disease from the perspective of 212 patients with Gaucher disease and 16 Gaucher expert physicians.

Mol Genet Metab 2017 11 4;122(3):122-129. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Lysosomal Storage Disorders Unit, Department of Haematology, Royal Free Hospital, UCL Medical School, London, UK. Electronic address:

Gaucher disease (GD) is a rare hereditary disorder caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme β-glucocerebrosidase. Diagnosis is challenging owing to a wide variability in clinical manifestations and severity of symptoms. Many patients may experience marked delays in obtaining a definitive diagnosis. The two surveys reported herein aimed to explore the patient journey to diagnosis of GD from the perspectives of Gaucher expert physicians and patients. Findings from the surveys revealed that many patients experienced diagnostic delays and misdiagnoses, with nearly 1 in 6 patients stating that they were not diagnosed with GD for 7years or more after first consulting a doctor. Physicians and patients both reported multiple referrals to different specialties before a diagnosis of GD was obtained, with primary care, haematology/haematology-oncology and paediatrics the main specialties to which patients first presented. Splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia, anaemia and bone pain were reported as the most common medical problems at first presentation in both surveys. These findings support a clear need for straightforward and easy-to-follow guidance designed to assist non-specialists to identify earlier patients who are at risk of GD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2017.08.002DOI Listing
November 2017

A study on the safety and efficacy of reveglucosidase alfa in patients with late-onset Pompe disease.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2017 08 24;12(1):144. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical, 105 Digital Drive, Novato, CA, 94949, USA.

Background: Late-onset Pompe disease is a rare genetic neuromuscular disorder caused by lysosomal acid alpha-glucosidase (GAA) deficiency that ultimately results in mobility loss and respiratory failure. Current enzyme replacement therapy with recombinant human (rh)GAA has demonstrated efficacy in subjects with late-onset Pompe disease. However, long-term effects of rhGAA on pulmonary function have not been observed, likely related to inefficient delivery of rhGAA to skeletal muscle lysosomes and associated deficits in the central nervous system. To address this limitation, reveglucosidase alfa, a novel insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2)-tagged GAA analogue with improved lysosomal uptake, was developed. This study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, safety, and exploratory efficacy of reveglucosidase alfa in 22 subjects with late-onset Pompe disease who were previously untreated with rhGAA.

Results: Reveglucosidase alfa plasma concentrations increased linearly with dose, and the elimination half-life was <1.2 h. Eighteen of 22 subjects completed 72 weeks of treatment. The most common adverse events were hypoglycemia (63%), dizziness, fall, headache, and nausea (55% for each). Serious adverse events included hypersensitivity (n = 1), symptomatic hypoglycemia (n = 2), presyncope (n = 1), and acute cardiac failure (n = 1). In the dose-escalation study, all treated subjects tested positive for anti-reveglucosidase alfa, anti-rhGAA, anti-IGF1, and anti-IGF2 antibodies at least once. Subjects receiving 20 mg/kg of reveglucosidase alfa demonstrated increases in predicted maximum inspiratory pressure (13.9%), predicted maximum expiratory pressure (8.0%), forced vital capacity (-0.4%), maximum voluntary ventilation (7.4 L/min), and mean absolute walking distance (22.3 m on the 6-min walk test) at 72 weeks.

Conclusions: Additional studies are needed to further assess the safety and efficacy of this approach. Improvements in respiratory muscle strength, lung function, and walking endurance in subjects with LOPD may make up for the risk of hypersensitivity reactions and hypoglycemia. Reveglucosidase alfa may provide a new treatment option for patients with late-onset Pompe disease.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN01435772 and ISRCTN01230801 , registered 27 October 2011.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-017-0693-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571484PMC
August 2017

Consensus recommendation for a diagnostic guideline for acid sphingomyelinase deficiency.

Genet Med 2017 09 13;19(9):967-974. Epub 2017 Apr 13.

Department of Pediatrics Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, USA.

Disclaimer:This diagnostic guideline is intended as an educational resource and represents the opinions of the authors, and is not representative of recommendations or policy of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG). The information should be considered a consensus based on expert opinion, as more comprehensive levels of evidence were not available in the literature in all cases.

Background: Acid sphingomyelinase deficiency (ASMD) is a rare, progressive, and often fatal lysosomal storage disease. The underlying metabolic defect is deficiency of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase that results in progressive accumulation of sphingomyelin in target tissues. ASMD manifests as a spectrum of severity ranging from rapidly progressive severe neurovisceral disease that is uniformly fatal to more slowly progressive chronic neurovisceral and chronic visceral forms. Disease management is aimed at symptom control and regular assessments for multisystem involvement.

Purpose And Methods: An international panel of experts in the clinical and laboratory evaluation, diagnosis, treatment/management, and genetic aspects of ASMD convened to review the evidence base and share personal experience in order to develop a guideline for diagnosis of the various ASMD phenotypes.

Conclusions: Although care of ASMD patients is typically provided by metabolic disease specialists, the guideline is directed at a wide range of providers because it is important for primary care providers (e.g., pediatricians and internists) and specialists (e.g., pulmonologists, hepatologists, and hematologists) to be able to identify ASMD.Genet Med advance online publication 13 April 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/gim.2017.7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5589980PMC
September 2017

Differences in Niemann-Pick disease Type C symptomatology observed in patients of different ages.

Mol Genet Metab 2017 03 7;120(3):180-189. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Allschwil, Switzerland.

Background: Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NP-C) is a genetic lipid storage disorder characterised by progressive neurovisceral symptomatology. Typically, disease progression is more pronounced in patients with early onset of neurological symptoms. Heterogeneous clinical presentation may hinder disease recognition and lead to delays in diagnosis. Here we describe the prevalence of signs and symptoms observed in patients with NP-C and analyse the relationship between these symptoms in different age groups.

Methods: The combined patient cohort used in the analyses comprised NP-C cases (n=164) and controls (n=135) aged 0 to 60years from two previously published cohorts; a cohort of all ages from which patients ≤4years of age were excluded and a cohort with early-onset NP-C and age-matched controls. The analysis of relationships between different signs and symptoms was performed for both NP-C cases and controls in two sub-groups, ≤4 and >4years of age, using cluster analyses. The threshold of 4years of age was selected to reflect the minimum age cut-off for satisfactory discriminatory power of the original NP-C SI. To assess the prevalence of individual signs and symptoms at age of diagnosis, patients were categorised by age into 5-year sub-groups, and prevalence values estimated for each sign and symptom of NP-C.

Results: Two main clusters of symptoms were clearly defined for NP-C cases in each age sub-group, whereas clusters were not as clearly defined for controls. For NP-C cases ≤4years of age, one cluster comprised exclusively visceral symptoms; the second cluster combined all other signs and symptoms in this age group. For NP-C cases >4years of age, each cluster contained a mixture of visceral, neurological and psychiatric items. Prevalence estimations showed that visceral symptoms (e.g. isolated unexplained splenomegaly) were most common in NP-C cases ≤4years of age. Neurological symptoms were generally more common in NP-C cases >4years of age than in younger patients, with the exception of hypotonia and delayed developmental milestones.

Conclusions: These analyses provide a comprehensive overview of symptomatology observed in a large combined cohort of patients with NP-C and controls across a wide range of ages. The results largely reflect observations from clinical practice and support the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches for identification of patients with NP-C, taking into account age-specific manifestations and their possible correlations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2016.12.003DOI Listing
March 2017

Quantification of muscle pathology in infantile Pompe disease.

Neuromuscul Disord 2017 Feb 3;27(2):141-152. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Department of Child Neurology, Justus Liebig University, Gießen, Germany.

The effects of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in infantile Pompe disease are variable, necessitating the identification of biomarkers to assess the severity of disease and response to ERT. The aims of this study were to investigate whether quantification of muscle pathology in infantile Pompe disease prior to and during ERT is feasible at the light microscope, and to develop a score that summarizes the degree of muscle pathology in a comprehensive manner from PAS-stained resin sections alone. We, therefore, determined glycogen load, extent of muscle fibre disruption, and amount of autophagic vacuoles in resin-embedded muscle biopsy specimens from 11 infantile Pompe patients and 2 with early childhood phenotype by quantitative methods, correlated the findings with ultrastructural analyses, compared PAS-stained resin sections with conventional PAS-stained cryosections, and related the quantified degree of muscle damage from infantile patients to the effects of ERT. Comparison of electron and light microscopic findings demonstrated that important alterations of skeletal muscle morphology can also be depicted by examining PAS stained resin sections. Infantile patients with good response to ERT had lower muscle pathology score values prior to and during ERT than those with moderate and poor response, but the number of tissue samples available for evaluation was limited. These findings suggest that quantification of muscle pathology by analysing PAS stained resin sections is in principle feasible and useful to monitor disease progression and therapy response. These results have to be validated by investigating a larger group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2016.10.010DOI Listing
February 2017

Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency: Expanding differential diagnosis.

Mol Genet Metab 2017 Jan - Feb;120(1-2):62-66. Epub 2016 Nov 10.

Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

The differential diagnoses for metabolic liver diseases may be challenging in clinical settings, which represents a critical issue for disorders such as lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D). LAL-D is caused by deficient activity of the LAL enzyme, resulting in the accumulation of cholesteryl esters and triglycerides throughout the body, predominately in the liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract, and blood vessel walls. LAL-D is a progressive, multi-organ disease with early mortality and significant morbidity characterized by a combination of hepatic dysfunction and dyslipidemia. Evidence suggests LAL-D may be substantially underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, which is critical given that disease progression can be unpredictable, with liver failure and/or accelerated atherosclerosis potentially contributing to early mortality. However, given the development of a simple diagnostic test and recently approved treatment, LAL-D should be incorporated into the differential diagnosis in relevant clinical settings. LAL-D can be diagnosed using an LAL enzyme-based biochemical test, thereby allowing for active monitoring of patients to detect potential disease complications and consider treatment options including diet, lipid-lowering medication, and treatment with sebelipase alfa, a recombinant enzyme replacement therapy shown to provide clinical benefit and improve disease-relevant markers in clinical trials. To illustrate the complexity of diagnosing LAL-D, this manuscript will describe the path to diagnosing LAL-D in a series of patient cases in which LAL-D was diagnosed as well as in patients where other diseases, such as Gaucher disease and Niemann-Pick disease, were initially suspected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2016.11.002DOI Listing
August 2017

Impact of elosulfase alfa in patients with morquio A syndrome who have limited ambulation: An open-label, phase 2 study.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Feb 24;173(2):375-383. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., Novato, California.

Efficacy and safety of elosulfase alfa enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) were assessed in an open-label, phase 2, multi-national study in Morquio A patients aged ≥5 years unable to walk ≥30 meters in the 6-min walk test. Patients received elosulfase alfa 2.0 mg/kg/week intravenously for 48 weeks. Efficacy measures were functional dexterity, pinch/grip strength, mobility in a modified timed 25-foot walk, pain, quality of life, respiratory function, and urine keratan sulfate (KS). Safety/tolerability was also assessed. Fifteen patients received elosulfase alfa, three patients discontinued ERT due to adverse events (two were grade 3 drug-related adverse events, the other was not drug-related), and two patients missed >20% of planned infusions; 10 completed treatment through 48 weeks and received ≥80% of planned infusions (Modified Per Protocol [MPP] population). The study population had more advanced disease than that enrolled in other trials. From baseline to week 48, MPP data showed biochemical efficacy (urine KS decreased 52.4%). The remaining efficacy results were highly variable due to challenges in test execution because of severe skeletal and joint abnormalities, small sample sizes, and clinical heterogeneity among patients. Eight patients showed improvements in one or more outcome measures; several patients indicated improvements not captured by the study assessments (e.g., increased energy, functional ability). The nature of adverse events was similar to other elosulfase alfa studies. This study illustrates the considerable challenges in objectively measuring impact of ERT in very disabled Morquio A patients and highlights the need to examine results on an individual basis. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5298029PMC
February 2017

Heart and Cardiovascular Involvement in Patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IVA (Morquio-A Syndrome).

PLoS One 2016 9;11(9):e0162612. Epub 2016 Sep 9.

Division of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Diseases, Center for Diseases in Childhood and Adolescence, Mainz Medical University, Mainz, Germany.

Background: Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IVA is a rare lysosomal storage disorder with multiple skeletal and non-skeletal abnormalities requiring multiple surgical interventions. It is well known that patients with MPS IVA suffer from tachycardia, but cardiac and hemodynamic alterations have not been reported to date. We investigated the cardiovascular and hemodynamic alterations in patients with MPS IVA and developed a possible patho-mechanism for cardiovascular deterioration during anesthesia.

Material And Methods: In this observational study, serial cardiac examinations were performed in 54 patients with MPS IVA who were followed at the Children's Hospital of the Mainz Medical University (Mainz, Germany) between 1991 and 2014 (follow-up 1-24 years; median 5.8 years). Results were compared with data from a large central European cohort of more than 2000 healthy infants and children.

Results: None of the patients had arterial hypertension, but 4% had evidence of increased pulmonary artery pressure. Patients developed aortic root extension up to 6.9 standard deviations above normal. Left-sided valve leaflet thickening occurred in 26 patients (five with valve disease). Patients had lower left ventricular dimensions (z: -1.02±0.1), lower stroke volumes (z: -2.3±0.17), lower left ventricular mass (z: -1.5±0.21), but higher wall thickness (z: +0.8±0.16), and higher work index (z: +2.5±0.2) compared to healthy control subjects. Cardiac output was preserved by an increase in heart rate of 21%. Sixty % of patients showed impaired diastolic filling; heart rate (99.0±1.8 vs. 92.0±2.1 bpm), age (18.0±1.8 vs. 14.2±1 years), and cardiothoracic ratio (61.6±3.6% vs. 55±4.2%) of these patients were higher compared to those with normal filling.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest an age-progressive disproportion of the intra-thoracic organs of patients with MPS IVA, which is accompanied by aortic root extension and thickened left ventricles, with reduced stroke volumes, impaired diastolic filling patterns, and increased heart rates.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0162612PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017658PMC
August 2017

Treatment with pentosan polysulphate in patients with MPS I: results from an open label, randomized, monocentric phase II study.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2016 11 2;39(6):831-837. Epub 2016 Sep 2.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Current treatment options for MPS I have limited effects on some organs, including the skeletal system. In MPS animal models pentosan polysulphate (PPS) reduces the concentrations of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in tissues and body fluids and improves cartilaginous and osseous pathologies. The goals of this study were to investigate primarily the safety and secondary the clinical effects, concerning mobility and pain, of PPS treatment in MPS I patients. Four MPS I-Hurler-Scheie/-Scheie patients aged 35.6 ± 6.4 years with one male were included in the study. All patients were on enzyme replacement therapy since 9.45 ± 3.75 years. PPS was applied subcutaneously in two patients with 1 mg/kg and in two patients with 2 mg/kg, weekly for 12 weeks and then biweekly for 12 weeks. The 24-week treatment with PPS was well tolerated by all patients. Urinary GAG concentrations were reduced from 4.13 ± 1.17 at baseline to 2.69 ± 0.36 mg/mmol creatinine after 24-week treatment with 1 mg/kg PPS, and from 6.71 ± 0.62 to 2.65 ± 0.09 mg/mmol creatinine with 2 mg/kg PPS. An improvement in range of motion was noted in three out of four patients. The pain intensity score was reduced from 4.5 ± 1.77 at baseline to 1.8 ± 0.47 after 24-week treatment with 1 mg/kg PPS; patients with 2 mg/kg PPS already had minimal pain at the start of the study. In conclusion, PPS treatment in a small number of adult MPS I patients was well tolerated and resulted in a significant reduction of urinary GAG excretion and in an improvement of joint mobility and pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-016-9974-5DOI Listing
November 2016

Management of Life-Threatening Tracheal Stenosis and Tracheomalacia in Patients with Mucopolysaccharidoses.

JIMD Rep 2017 22;33:33-39. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Center for Diseases in Childhood and Adolescence and Villa Metabolica, Mainz Medical University, Mainz, Germany.

Several different lysosomal storage diseases, mainly mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type I, II, and VI, are complicated by severe obstruction of the upper airways, tracheobronchial malacia, and/or stenosis of the lower airways. Although enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) are available, the impact of these on tracheobronchial alterations has not been reported. By extending the life expectancy of MPS patients with ERTs, airway problems may become more prevalent at advanced ages. These airway abnormalities can result in severe, potentially fatal, difficulties during anesthetic procedures. Usually, upper airway obstruction is treated by tracheostomy. However, with lower airway malacia and/or stenosis, there are no procedures available to date to address these difficulties. We report the first cases using a new technique of tracheal stenting in patients with MPS type VI (Maroteaux-Lamy syndrome) and type II (Hunter syndrome) who had almost complete tracheal occlusion and total airway collapse. An updated literature review is also reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/8904_2016_578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5413455PMC
July 2016