Publications by authors named "Eugenio Maria Mercuri"

3 Publications

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A novel homozygous variant in JAM3 gene causing hemorrhagic destruction of the brain, subependymal calcification, and congenital cataracts (HDBSCC) with neonatal onset.

Neurol Sci 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

Background: JAM3 gene, located on human chromosome 11q25, encodes a member of the junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) family. Mutations of this gene are associated with hemorrhagic destruction of the brain, subependymal calcification, and congenital cataracts (HDBSCC).

Case Report: Herein, we present a newborn male with a prenatal suspicion of bilateral cataracts but without fetal ultrasound findings of cortical malformations. He was postnatally diagnosed with a clinical picture of HDBSCC and Early-onset Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy (DEE), associated to a homozygous variant of JAM3 gene.

Conclusion: Identification of this variant in affected individuals has implications for perinatal and postnatal management and genetic counseling. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case reported of a child with a JAM3 variant in Italy, from a different ethnic background than the other reported children until now (Saudi Arabian, Turkish, Afghani, and Moroccan origin). JAM3 screening could be requested in prenatal diagnosis of fetal congenital cataracts and included in Next-Generation DNA Sequencing panels.
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July 2021

Neurodevelopmental outcomes in very preterm infants: The role of severity of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia.

Early Hum Dev 2021 01 16;152:105275. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Neonatology Unit, Department of Woman and Child Health and Public Health, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario "Agostino Gemelli" IRCCS, Rome, Italy; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a chronic respiratory disease that still affects preterm neonates; its association with neurodevelopmental (ND) impairment is already known. Different studies investigated neurodevelopmental outcomes in infants with BPD, often using the old dichotomous definition (BPD vs Non-BPD). This retrospective study aims to evaluate the role of different BPD severity grades on ND outcomes at 24 months of corrected age (CA).

Methods: All preterm infants born between 2011 and 2015 in the study hospital with a gestational age (GA) ≤ 30 weeks and discharged from our NICU were included and were divided in infants with and without BPD. Infants with BPD were divided into three severity groups as defined by NICHD/NHLBI Workshop in 2001, and were compared to their Non-BPD peers, matching them according to the same GA and year of birth. At 24 months postmenstrual age, we assessed general outcomes (growth and hospital readmissions) and neurodevelopmental outcomes (motor, developmental and sensory outcomes) with a standardized assessment.

Results: We enrolled 89 patients affected by BPD of different grades of severity and a control group of 89 preterm infants without BPD. Infants with Moderate and Severe BPD showed a significantly higher corrected odds ratio (OR) for cognitive impairment compared to controls. Within the group of infants without severe disability (regarding Griffiths' scales), infants with Moderate and Severe BPD as well as infants with Mild BPD showed a significantly higher risk of a lower total Developmental Quotient (DQ) score, even after correction for confounding factors.

Conclusions: Our study evidenced that not only Severe BPD infants, but also Moderate ones showed a higher risk of overall cognitive impairment at 24 months CA. Within the group of infants without severe disability, also those with Mild BPD had lower Griffiths DQ scores than those without. This would suggest that infants with BPD, regardless of severity, warrant neurodevelopmental follow-up.
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January 2021

Muscle MRI in two SMA patients on nusinersen treatment: A two years follow-up.

J Neurol Sci 2020 Oct 29;417:117067. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Neurorehabilitation Unit, NEMO Clinical Center, University of Milano, Milano, Italy.

Introduction: The effects of nusinersen in adults with SMA rely on neuromotor function scales and qualitative assessments. There are limited clinical or imaging data on muscle changes over time.

Methods: Two adult SMA patients underwent clinical assessments including measures of upper and lower limb function with Revised Upper Limb Module (RULM) and Hammersmith Function Motor Scale Expanded (HFMSE); both patients were also studied with whole-body muscle MRI (T1-weighted and Diffusion Tensor Imaging/DTI sequences), at baseline and after 10 and 24 months from the beginning of treatment with nusinersen.

Results: After two years of treatment, HFMSE and RULM scores were stable in both patients. DTI sequences revealed an increased number, length and organization of muscle fiber tracks, and Fractional Anisotropy (FA) values showed a significant reduction after 10 and 24 months from baseline, in their corresponding maps.

Discussion: Muscle DTI imaging seems to play an interesting role to monitor treatment effects over time in adult SMA patients.
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October 2020