Publications by authors named "Gabrielle Donlevy"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

L-carnitine supplementation for muscle weakness and fatigue in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: A Phase 2a clinical trial.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 Jun 21. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Orthopaedic Research & Biotechnology, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Reduced muscle tone, muscle weakness, and physical fatigue can impact considerably on quality of life for children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Human muscle biopsies and mouse models of NF1 deficiency in muscle show intramyocellular lipid accumulation, and preclinical data have indicated that L-carnitine supplementation can ameliorate this phenotype. The aim of this study is to examine whether daily L-carnitine supplementation is safe and feasible, and will improve muscle strength and reduce fatigue in children with NF1. A 12-week Phase 2a trial was conducted using 1000 mg daily oral levocarnitine tartrate supplementation. Recruited children were between 8 and 12 years old with a clinical diagnosis of NF1, history of muscle weakness and fatigue, and naïve to L-carnitine. Primary outcomes were safety (self-reporting, biochemical testing) and compliance. Secondary outcomes included plasma acylcarnitine profiles, functional measures (muscle strength, long jump, handwriting speed, 6-minute-walk test [6MWT]), and parent-reported questionnaires (PedsQL™, CBCL/6-18). Six children completed the trial with no self-reported adverse events. Biochemical tests for kidney and liver function were normal, and the average compliance was 95%. Plasma acylcarnitine levels were low, but within a range not clinically linked to carnitine deficiency. For strength measures, there was a mean 53% increase in dorsiflexion strength (95% confidence interval [CI] 8.89-60.75; p = 0.02) and mean 66% increase in plantarflexion strength (95% CI 12.99-134.1; p = 0.03). In terms of muscle performance, there was a mean 10% increase in long jump distance (95% CI 2.97-16.03; p = 0.01) and 6MWT distance (95% CI 5.88-75.45; p = 0.03). Comparison with the 1000 Norms Project data showed a significant improvement in Z-score for all of these measures. Parent reports showed no negative impact on quality of life, and the perceived benefits led to the majority of individuals remaining on L-carnitine after the study. Twelve weeks of L-carnitine supplementation is safe and feasible in children with NF1, and a Phase 3 trial should confirm the efficacy of treatment.
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June 2021

Clinical, Genetic, and Disability Profile of Pediatric Distal Hereditary Motor Neuropathy.

Neurology 2021 01 16;96(3):e423-e432. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

From the T.Y. Nelson Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (M.P.M.), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, NSW; University of Sydney School of Health Sciences & Children's Hospital at Westmead (J.B., G.D., K.C., M.P.M.), Sydney, Australia; Health Research Institute Hospital La Fe (H.A.-E., M.F.) and Department of Neurology (H.A.-E, M.F., T.S.), Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia, Spain; Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Rare Diseases-CIBERER (H.A.E., T.S.); and Department of Medicine (T.S.), University of Valencia, Spain.

Objective: To describe the clinical, genetic, and disability profile of pediatric distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN) and to determine the utility of an outcome measure validated for children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) in assessing disability in this cohort.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical, neurophysiologic, and disability data on individuals with dHMN, evaluated before the age of 20 years, at 2 tertiary neuromuscular clinics in Australia and Spain. Disability was assessed annually with the CMT Pediatric Scale (CMTPedS) in a subset of individuals.

Results: Twenty-two children (13 female) from 19 families were included. Fourteen individuals were symptomatic in the first year of life. Intellectual disability was present in 6 individuals; upper motor neuron signs were seen in 8. Pathogenic variants were found in 9 families, more frequently in (-4, -2, -2, -1). A novel pathogenic variant in the gene was detected and characterized phenotypically. Disability was moderate on the CMTPedS (mean [SD] 18.2 [6.3], n = 16), with balance and long jump being the most affected and sensation items and grip strength the least affected. Over 1 year, the CMTPedS total score deteriorated, on average 1.5 points (SD 3.7) or 9% (n = 12), with significant variability in the rate of progression within the cohort.

Conclusions: The genetic profile of pediatric dHMN is different from that identified in adult cohorts. This study has identified distinct functional limitations for the CMTPedS in children and adolescents with dHMN.
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January 2021