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Trajectories of motor abnormalities in milder phenotypes of ataxia telangiectasia



Objective

To describe and classify the neurologic trajectories in patients with mild neurologic forms of ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) from the Dutch A-T cohort, combined with patients reported in the literature.

Methods

Clinical, genetic, and laboratory data of 14 patients with mild neurologic phenotypes of A-T from the Dutch cohort were analyzed and combined with corresponding data from the literature. A mild neurologic phenotype was defined by a later onset, nonataxia presenting or dominant feature, or slower progression compared to the classic A-T phenotype. Neurologic trajectories were classified based on age at onset, presenting feature, and follow-up data.

Results

One hundred five patients were included in the study. Neurologic trajectories were categorized into 6 groups: patients with childhood-onset extrapyramidal (EP) features with cerebellar symptoms developing later (group 1; 18 patients), childhood-onset cerebellar symptoms, with EP features developing later (group 2; 35 patients), childhood- to adolescence-onset dystonia, without cerebellar symptoms (group 3; 23 patients), childhood- to adolescence-onset isolated cerebellar symptoms (group 4; 22 patients), childhood- to adult-onset prominent muscle weakness (group 5; 2 patients), and patients with adult-onset EP features, with anterior horn cell disease arising subsequently (group 6; 5 patients).

Conclusions

This systematic study of the different motor abnormalities and their course over time in patients with mild phenotypes of A-T, enabled us to recognize 6 essentially different phenotypic patterns. Awareness of these different trajectories of motor abnormalities in milder forms of A-T will contribute to a reduction of diagnostic delay in this severe multisystem disorder.

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