Publications by authors named "Irene Bagnasco"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A nationwide study on Sydenham's chorea: Clinical features, treatment and prognostic factors.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2021 Nov 6;36:1-6. Epub 2021 Nov 6.

Pediatric Rheumatology, Pediatric University Department, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objectives: Sydenham's Chorea (SC) is a neuropsychiatric disorder and a major manifestation of acute rheumatic fever. The erroneous assumption that SC is a benign and self-limiting disease, has led to a lack of high-quality scientific evidence of the therapeutical and prognostic features of SC.

Study Design: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of patients <18-years old with SC in 17 Italian pediatric centers. Recorded data included clinical, instrumental and laboratory parameters. Prognostic risk factors including treatment regimens were assessed with univariate and multivariate sub-analysis.

Results: We included 171 patients with SC. 66% had generalized chorea, and 34% hemichorea. 81% had carditis (subclinical in 65%). Additional neurological symptoms were reported in 60% of the patients, mainly dysarthria and dysgraphia. 51% had neuropsychiatric symptoms at onset, which persisted after 12 months in 10%. Among psychiatric manifestations, the most common was anxiety disorder/depression (77%). Neurological remission was reached by 93% of the patients at 6 months; 9% relapsed. Patients were treated as follows: 11% penicillin alone, 37% immunomodulatory therapy, 16% symptomatic drugs (i.e. anti-seizure medication, dopamine antagonists) and 37% both symptomatic and immunomodulatory treatment. Neurological outcome did not differ between groups. Patients receiving symptomatic drugs had a higher risk of relapse on multivariate analysis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Treatment of SC was largely heterogeneous. Based on our results, immunomodulatory therapy did not show higher efficacy at medium term, although it was associated to a slightly lower risk of relapse compared to symptomatic therapy. Longitudinal studies are needed to assess specific risk factors and best treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.11.002DOI Listing
November 2021

De novo DHDDS variants cause a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder with myoclonus.

Brain 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Undiagnosed Diseases Program, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-2152, USA.

Subcellular membrane systems are highly enriched in dolichol, whose role in organelle homeostasis and endosomal-lysosomal pathway remains largely unclear besides being involved in protein glycosylation. DHDDS encodes for the catalytic subunit (DHDDS) of the enzyme cis-prenyltransferase (cis-PTase), involved in dolichol biosynthesis and dolichol-dependent protein glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum. An autosomal recessive form of retinitis pigmentosa (retinitis pigmentosa 59) has been associated with a recurrent DHDDS variant. Moreover, two recurring de novo substitutions were detected in a few cases presenting with neurodevelopmental disorder, epilepsy, and movement disorder. We evaluated a large cohort of patients (n=25) with de novo pathogenic variants in DHDDS and provided the first systematic description of the clinical features and long-term outcome of this new neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder. The functional impact of the identified variants was explored by yeast complementation system and enzymatic assay. Patients presented during infancy or childhood with a variable association of neurodevelopmental disorder, generalized epilepsy, action myoclonus/cortical tremor, and ataxia. Later in the disease course they experienced a slow neurological decline with the emergence of hyperkinetic and/or hypokinetic movement disorder, cognitive deterioration, and psychiatric disturbances. Storage of lipidic material and altered lysosomes were detected in myelinated fibers and fibroblasts, suggesting a dysfunction of the lysosomal enzymatic scavenger machinery. Serum glycoprotein hypoglycosylation was not detected and, in contrast to retinitis pigmentosa and other congenital disorders of glycosylation involving dolichol metabolism, the urinary dolichol D18/D19 ratio was normal. Mapping the disease-causing variants into the protein structure revealed that most of them clustered around the active site of the DHDDS subunit. Functional studies using yeast complementation assay and in vitro activity measurements confirmed that these changes affected the catalytic activity of the cis-PTase and showed growth defect in yeast complementation system as compared with the wild-type enzyme and retinitis pigmentosa-associated protein. In conclusion, we characterized a distinctive neurodegenerative disorder due to de novo DHDDS variants, which clinically belongs to the spectrum of genetic progressive encephalopathies with myoclonus. Clinical and biochemical data from this cohort depicted a condition at the intersection of congenital disorders of glycosylation and inherited storage diseases with several features akin to of progressive myoclonus epilepsy such as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and other lysosomal disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab299DOI Listing
August 2021

Targeted re-sequencing for early diagnosis of genetic causes of childhood epilepsy: the Italian experience from the 'beyond epilepsy' project.

Ital J Pediatr 2020 Jul 6;46(1):92. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

Pediatric Neurology and Muscular Diseases Unit, IRCCS 'G. Gaslini' Institute, 16147, Genoa, Italy.

Background: Childhood epilepsies are a heterogeneous group of conditions differing in diagnostic criteria, management, and outcome. Late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2) is a neurodegenerative condition caused by biallelic TPP1 variants. This disorder presents with subtle and relatively non-specific symptoms, mimicking those observed in more common paediatric epilepsies and followed by rapid psychomotor deterioration and drug-resistant epilepsy. A prompt diagnosis is essential to adopt appropriate treatment and disease management strategies.

Methods: This is a prospective, multicentre study on the efficiency of targeted re-sequencing in the early identification of the genetic causes of childhood epilepsy, with particular regard to CLN2. After phenotypic characterization, a 283-gene Next Generation Sequencing panel was performed in 21 Italian children with neurodevelopmental abnormalities, aged between 24 and 60 months, experiencing first unprovoked seizure after 2 years of age.

Results: The average age at enrolment was 39.9 months, with a mean age at seizure onset of 30.9 months and a mean time interval between seizure onset and targeted resequencing of 9 months. Genetic confirmation was achieved in 4 out of 21 patients, with a diagnostic yield of 19%. In one case, the homozygous splice acceptor variant c.509-1G > C in TPP1 was identified, leading to a CLN2 diagnosis. Three pathogenic variants in MECP2 were also detected in three patients, including the frameshift variant c.1157_1186delinsA (p.Leu386Hisfs*9) in a girl with negative single gene sequencing. Variants of unknown significance (VUS) were found in 11 out of 21 (52.4%) individuals, whereas no clinically significant variants were observed in the remaining 6 subjects.

Conclusions: Our findings support the efficacy of target re-sequencing in the identification of the genetic causes of childhood epilepsy and suggest that this technique might prove successful in the early detection of CLN2 as well as other neurodevelopmental conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13052-020-00860-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7339579PMC
July 2020

Phenotypic and genetic spectrum of epilepsy with myoclonic atonic seizures.

Epilepsia 2020 05 29;61(5):995-1007. Epub 2020 May 29.

Meyer Children's Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Objective: We aimed to describe the extent of neurodevelopmental impairments and identify the genetic etiologies in a large cohort of patients with epilepsy with myoclonic atonic seizures (MAE).

Methods: We deeply phenotyped MAE patients for epilepsy features, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using standardized neuropsychological instruments. We performed exome analysis (whole exome sequencing) filtered on epilepsy and neuropsychiatric gene sets to identify genetic etiologies.

Results: We analyzed 101 patients with MAE (70% male). The median age of seizure onset was 34 months (range = 6-72 months). The main seizure types were myoclonic atonic or atonic in 100%, generalized tonic-clonic in 72%, myoclonic in 69%, absence in 60%, and tonic seizures in 19% of patients. We observed intellectual disability in 62% of patients, with extremely low adaptive behavioral scores in 69%. In addition, 24% exhibited symptoms of autism and 37% exhibited attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms. We discovered pathogenic variants in 12 (14%) of 85 patients, including five previously published patients. These were pathogenic genetic variants in SYNGAP1 (n = 3), KIAA2022 (n = 2), and SLC6A1 (n = 2), as well as KCNA2, SCN2A, STX1B, KCNB1, and MECP2 (n = 1 each). We also identified three new candidate genes, ASH1L, CHD4, and SMARCA2 in one patient each.

Significance: MAE is associated with significant neurodevelopmental impairment. MAE is genetically heterogeneous, and we identified a pathogenic genetic etiology in 14% of this cohort by exome analysis. These findings suggest that MAE is a manifestation of several etiologies rather than a discrete syndromic entity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16508DOI Listing
May 2020

Long term neurocognitive improvement after "late" right hemispherectomy: case report and review of the literature.

Childs Nerv Syst 2018 08 21;34(8):1599-1603. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

Division of Child Neuropsychiatry, Martini Hospital, via Tofane 71, 10141, Torino, Italy.

Objective: To study the long-term neurocognitive changes of a right-handed girl with intractable epilepsy after late right hemispherectomy and compare them with data in the literature.

Method: The girl was affected by an epileptic encephalopathy associated with right fronto-temporo-parietal polymicrogyria; she was submitted to right hemispherectomy at the age of 5 and examined with cognitive and neuropsychological tests at the age of 17 years. The girl took advantage of neurocognitive rehabilitation for several years; she is currently seizure-free and off therapy.

Results: At the end of the follow-up, the full-scale IQ is stable and within the normal range (p = 88). As the discrepancy between verbal IQ (pp = 120) and performance IQ (pp = 71) is significantly high, the girl was subjected to neurocognitive evaluation with the following results: verbal problem solving, verbal short- and long-term memory, and executive functions are within normal range. The most fragile functional areas are visual and spatial reasoning, verbal working memory, short-term visuospatial memory, visual attention, and processing speed, all > 2 SD. The spatial tests, such as coding, matrix reasoning, picture concepts, and arithmetic reasoning (which are favored by other functions such as associative memory and learning ability), are less severely impaired.

Conclusions: These findings show that good conceptual skills and verbal reasoning can compensate for some deficits in visual-perceptual and visuospatial functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-018-3775-0DOI Listing
August 2018

A relatively mild phenotype associated with mutation of SCN8A.

Seizure 2018 Mar 7;56:47-49. Epub 2018 Feb 7.

Division of Child Neuropsychiatry, Martini Hospital, via Tofane 71, 10141 Torino, Italy.

Mutations in SCN8A gene have been described in relation to infantile onset epilepsy with movement disorders and developmental delay. Recently various authors have reported patients carrying autosomal dominant heterozygous SCN8A mutations and a milder phenotype expression. We discuss the case of a 6-year-old girl with a positive family history for epilepsy, early benign focal epilepsy, well controlled by Carbamazepine, upper limb tremor since birth, ataxia, slight motor delay and normal cognitive development. Neuroradiological study is normal, waking EEGs are normal, while epileptiform abnormalities on the vertex appear during sleep. The girl carries a de novo mutation of the SCN8A gene with nucleotide substitution of c.3943G > A (p.Val 1315 Met), located in the domain III S4/S5 intracellular linker. In literature two other cases with the same mutation have been reported, both patients have an epileptic encephalopathy. Our patient's milder phenotype could be caused by a modifier effect, possibly a mutation in another gene or a mosaicism. The detailed description of our case should contribute to enlarging the description of the clinical features of SCN8A mutations and to recommending the deepening of genetic investigations to.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2018.01.021DOI Listing
March 2018

Sleep in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) before and after 6-month treatment with methylphenidate: a pilot study.

Eur J Pediatr 2016 May 30;175(5):695-704. Epub 2016 Jan 30.

Academic Unit of Psychology, Developmental Brain-Behaviour Laboratory, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.

Unlabelled: Children with ADHD may present with sleep disturbances that add to the impairment of the disorder. The long-term sleep effects of the first-line pharmacological treatment for ADHD, i.e., psychostimulants, are unclear. In this pilot study, we compared polysomnographic variables in children with ADHD (n = 11, aged 6-15 years), before pharmacological treatment, and in children without ADHD (n = 22, aged 5-14 years); we also assessed polysomnographic changes in children with ADHD (n = 7) after a 6-month treatment with methylphenidate immediate-release (once or twice daily). Compared to children without ADHD, those with ADHD at baseline presented with significantly increased duration of awakenings (p = 0.02), reduction in sleep efficiency (p = 0.03), and increase in stage I (N1) (p < 0.01) and reduction in stage II (N2) (p = 0.02) and stage III-IV (N3) percentages. Methylphenidate treatment did not significantly change any parameter of sleep architecture.

Conclusion: Preliminary evidence from this pilot study shows that, compared to children without ADHD, those with ADHD presented a more fragmented and less effective sleep at baseline and that the 6-month methylphenidate treatment did not further negatively impact on sleep architecture.

What Is Known: • Children with ADHD may present with subjectively reported and/or objectively confirmed disturbances of sleep. • The long-term effects on sleep of the first-line pharmacological treatment for ADHD, i.e., psychostimulants, are not clear. What is new: • Our study showed that the 6-month continuous treatment with methylphenidate did not further negatively impact on sleep architecture in children with ADHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-016-2695-9DOI Listing
May 2016

Different electroclinical picture of generalized epilepsy in two families with 15q13.3 microdeletion.

Epilepsia 2013 May 28;54(5):e69-73. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Epilepsy Center, Neurology Department, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy.

15q.13.3 microdeletion has been described in a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. Epilepsy appears to be a common feature and, specifically, the 15q13.3 microdeletion is found in about 1% of patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Recently, absence seizures with intellectual disability (ID) have been reported in patients carrying this mutation. We describe two families in which several affected members carry a 15q13.3 microdeletion in a pattern suggestive of autosomal dominant inheritance. Their phenotype includes mainly absence epilepsy and mild ID, suggesting only similarities with genetic/idiopathic generalized epilepsies but not typical features. The importance of studying such families is crucial to broaden the phenotype and understand the long-term outcome of patients with this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.12130DOI Listing
May 2013

Molecular mechanisms generating and stabilizing terminal 22q13 deletions in 44 subjects with Phelan/McDermid syndrome.

PLoS Genet 2011 Jul 14;7(7):e1002173. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Cytogenetics Laboratory, Scientific Institute E. Medea, Bosisio Parini, Italy.

In this study, we used deletions at 22q13, which represent a substantial source of human pathology (Phelan/McDermid syndrome), as a model for investigating the molecular mechanisms of terminal deletions that are currently poorly understood. We characterized at the molecular level the genomic rearrangement in 44 unrelated patients with 22q13 monosomy resulting from simple terminal deletions (72%), ring chromosomes (14%), and unbalanced translocations (7%). We also discovered interstitial deletions between 17-74 kb in 9% of the patients. Haploinsufficiency of the SHANK3 gene, confirmed in all rearrangements, is very likely the cause of the major neurological features associated with PMS. SHANK3 mutations can also result in language and/or social interaction disabilities. We determined the breakpoint junctions in 29 cases, providing a realistic snapshot of the variety of mechanisms driving non-recurrent deletion and repair at chromosome ends. De novo telomere synthesis and telomere capture are used to repair terminal deletions; non-homologous end-joining or microhomology-mediated break-induced replication is probably involved in ring 22 formation and translocations; non-homologous end-joining and fork stalling and template switching prevail in cases with interstitial 22q13.3. For the first time, we also demonstrated that distinct stabilizing events of the same terminal deletion can occur in different early embryonic cells, proving that terminal deletions can be repaired by multistep healing events and supporting the recent hypothesis that rare pathogenic germline rearrangements may have mitotic origin. Finally, the progressive clinical deterioration observed throughout the longitudinal medical history of three subjects over forty years supports the hypothesis of a role for SHANK3 haploinsufficiency in neurological deterioration, in addition to its involvement in the neurobehavioral phenotype of PMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136441PMC
July 2011

Cognitive evolution of a girl submitted to right hemispherotomy when five years old.

Brain Dev 2010 Aug 27;32(7):579-82. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Division of Child Neuropsychiatry, Martini Hospital, Turin, Italy.

Since the age of three years the patient suffered from early drug-resistant partial epilepsy with electric status during slow sleep, owing to a micropolygyric malformation of the right fronto-temporo-parietal lobes. The hemispherotomy (when five years of age) was followed by immediate and persistent disappearance of the seizures and withdrawal of the treatment. The transfer of right hemispheric functions to the left hemisphere occurred very early; the child's development was examined in relation to the restoration of these functions and the age at surgery. The early surgical intervention and the plasticity of the brain - along with an intensive cognitive rehabilitation - seem to be important in determining the favorable global cognitive outcome. Visuo-spatial abilities and multi-modal integration of these functions with memory, attention and language have been the most critical domains and are recently in progress. The rapidity of processing complex tasks is particularly lacking. This seems to be the expression of the defective development of the Central Executive System.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.braindev.2009.07.010DOI Listing
August 2010

Verbal dichotic listening and manual performance in children with congenital unilateral brain lesions.

Neuropsychology 2004 Oct;18(4):748-55

Division of Developmental Neurology, Istituto Nazionale Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy.

The authors assessed manual performance and verbal dichotic listening performance in 16 epilepsy-free children with congenital unilateral brain lesions and normal IQ to investigate cerebral reorganization. In all children, the paretic hand had fair grip function, but reaction times were impaired, and cerebral reorganization of hand function in those with right hemiplegia was shown by the high incidence of pathological left-handedness. The dichotic listening results showed that most children with left lesions had a left ear advantage significantly related to the extent of brain damage. This finding suggests that extent of cortical damage and presence of thalamic involvement, irrespective of neuropathology, are the primary factors inducing rightward cerebral language reorganization in children with unilateral congenital brain lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0894-4105.18.4.748DOI Listing
October 2004

Oligoyric microcephaly in a child with Williams syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2003 Mar;117A(2):169-71

Department of Pediatric Neurology, Besta Institute, Milan, Italy.

We report a 19-month-old boy with microcephaly, growth and developmental delay, facial dysmorphisms, and simplified gyral pattern. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination demonstrated microcephaly with simplified gyral pattern or oligogyric microcephaly. The facial phenotype was interpreted as suggestive of Williams syndrome (WS). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis performed with an elastin probe revealed a deletion in the chromosomal band 7q 11.23, confirming the clinical diagnosis. To our knowledge, this represents the first patient with WS and oligogyric microcephaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.10892DOI Listing
March 2003
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