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1.  Novel SCARB2 mutation in action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome and evaluation of SCARB2 mutations in isolated AMRF features 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:134.
Action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome is a hereditary form of progressive myoclonus epilepsy associated with renal failure. It is considered to be an autosomal-recessive disease related to loss-of-function mutations in SCARB2. We studied a German AMRF family, additionally showing signs of demyelinating polyneuropathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.
To test the hypothesis whether isolated appearance of individual AMRF syndrome features could be related to heterozygote SCARB2 mutations, we screened for SCARB2 mutations in unrelated patients showing isolated AMRF features.
In the AMRF family all exons of SCARB2 were analyzed by Sanger sequencing. The mutation screening of unrelated patients with isolated AMRF features affected by either epilepsy (n = 103, progressive myoclonus epilepsy or generalized epilepsy), demyelinating polyneuropathy (n = 103), renal failure (n = 192) or dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 85) was performed as high resolution melting curve analysis of the SCARB2 exons.
A novel homozygous 1 bp deletion (c.111delC) in SCARB2 was found by sequencing three affected homozygous siblings of the affected family. A heterozygous sister showed generalized seizures and reduction of nerve conduction velocity in her legs. No mutations were found in the epilepsy, renal failure or dilated cardiomyopathy samples. In the polyneuropathy sample two individuals with demyelinating disease were found to be carriers of a SCARB2 frameshift mutation (c.666delCCTTA).
Our findings indicate that demyelinating polyneuropathy and dilated cardiomyopathy are part of the action myoclonus-renal failure syndrome. Moreover, they raise the possibility that in rare cases heterozygous SCARB2 mutations may be associated with PNP features.
PMCID: PMC3222607  PMID: 22032306
2.  Early diagnosis of peripheral nervous system involvement in Fabry disease and treatment of neuropathic pain: the report of an expert panel 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:61.
Fabry disease is an inherited metabolic disorder characterized by progressive lysosomal accumulation of lipids in a variety of cell types, including neural cells. Small, unmyelinated nerve fibers are particularly affected and small fiber peripheral neuropathy often clinically manifests at young age. Peripheral pain can be chronic and/or occur as provoked attacks of excruciating pain. Manifestations of dysfunction of small autonomic fibers may include, among others, impaired sweating, gastrointestinal dysmotility, and abnormal pain perception. Patients with Fabry disease often remain undiagnosed until severe complications involving the kidney, heart, peripheral nerves and/or brain have arisen.
An international expert panel convened with the goal to provide guidance to clinicians who may encounter unrecognized patients with Fabry disease on how to diagnose these patients early using simple diagnostic tests. A further aim was to offer recommendations to control neuropathic pain.
We describe the neuropathy in Fabry disease, focusing on peripheral small fiber dysfunction - the hallmark of early neurologic involvement in this disorder. The clinical course of peripheral pain is summarized, and the importance of medical history-taking, including family history, is highlighted. A thorough physical examination (e.g., angiokeratoma, corneal opacities) and simple non-invasive sensory perception tests could provide clues to the diagnosis of Fabry disease. Reported early clinical benefits of enzyme replacement therapy include reduction of neuropathic pain, and adequate management of residual pain to a tolerable and functional level can substantially improve the quality of life for patients.
Our recommendations can assist in diagnosing Fabry small fiber neuropathy early, and offer clinicians guidance in controlling peripheral pain. This is particularly important since management of pain in young patients with Fabry disease appears to be inadequate.
PMCID: PMC3126707  PMID: 21619592
Diagnosis; Fabry Disease; Neuropathy; Pain; Treatment
3.  Fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain - differences and similarities. A comparison of 3057 patients with diabetic painful neuropathy and fibromyalgia 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:55.
Patients with diabetic neuropathy (DPN) and fibromyalgia differ substantially in pathogenetic factors and the spatial distribution of the perceived pain. We questioned whether, despite these obvious differences, similar abnormal sensory complaints and pain qualities exist in both entities. We hypothesized that similar sensory symptoms might be associated with similar mechanisms of pain generation. The aims were (1) to compare epidemiological features and co-morbidities and (2) to identify similarities and differences of sensory symptoms in both entities.
The present multi-center study compares epidemiological data and sensory symptoms of a large cohort of 1434 fibromyalgia patients and 1623 patients with painful diabetic neuropathy. Data acquisition included standard demographic questions and self-report questionnaires (MOS sleep scale, PHQ-9, PainDETECT). To identify subgroups of patients with characteristic combinations of symptoms (sensory profiles) a cluster analysis was performed using all patients in both cohorts.
Significant differences in co-morbidities (depression, sleep disturbance) were found between both disorders. Patients of both aetiologies chose very similar descriptors to characterize their sensory perceptions. Burning pain, prickling and touch-evoked allodynia were present in the same frequency. Five subgroups with distinct symptom profiles could be detected. Two of the subgroups were characteristic for fibromyalgia whereas one profile occurred predominantly in DPN patients. Two profiles were found frequently in patients of both entities (20-35%).
DPN and fibromyalgia patients experience very similar sensory phenomena. The combination of sensory symptoms - the sensory profile - is in most cases distinct and almost unique for each one of the two entities indicating aetiology-specific mechanisms of symptom generation. Beside the unique aetiology-specific sensory profiles an overlap of sensory profiles can be found in 20-35% of patients of both aetiologies.
PMCID: PMC3125308  PMID: 21612589

Results 1-3 (3)