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A Founder Mutation in VPS11 Causes an Autosomal Recessive Leukoencephalopathy Linked to Autophagic Defects. - PLoS genetics
Genetic leukoencephalopathies (gLEs) are a group of heterogeneous disorders with white matter abnormalities affecting the central nervous system (CNS). The causative mutation in ~50% of gLEs is unknown. Using whole exome sequencing (WES), we identified homozygosity for a missense variant, VPS11: c.2536T>G (p.C846G), as the genetic cause of a leukoencephalopathy syndrome in five individuals from three unrelated Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) families. All five patients exhibited highly concordant disease progression characterized by infantile onset leukoencephalopathy with brain white matter abnormalities, severe motor impairment, cortical blindness, intellectual disability, and seizures. The carrier frequency of the VPS11: c.2536T>G variant is 1:250 in the AJ population (n = 2,026). VPS11 protein is a core component of HOPS (homotypic fusion and protein sorting) and CORVET (class C core vacuole/endosome tethering) protein complexes involved in membrane trafficking and fusion of the lysosomes and endosomes. The cysteine 846 resides in an evolutionarily conserved cysteine-rich RING-H2 domain in carboxyl terminal regions of VPS11 proteins. Our data shows that the C846G mutation causes aberrant ubiquitination and accelerated turnover of VPS11 protein as well as compromised VPS11-VPS18 complex assembly, suggesting a loss of function in the mutant protein. Reduced VPS11 expression leads to an impaired autophagic activity in human cells. Importantly, zebrafish harboring a vps11 mutation with truncated RING-H2 domain demonstrated a significant reduction in CNS myelination following extensive neuronal death in the hindbrain and midbrain. Thus, our study reveals a defect in VPS11 as the underlying etiology for an autosomal recessive leukoencephalopathy disorder associated with a dysfunctional autophagy-lysosome trafficking pathway.
Stimulant Medications and Cognition, Behavior and Quality of Life in Children and Youth with HIV. - The Pediatric infectious disease journal
Limited empirical investigation exists into longitudinal changes in cognition, behavior or quality of life (QOL) in children with perinatal HIV who are prescribed stimulants.This study was an analysis of longitudinal data from children age 3-19 years, with perinatal HIV infection, with and without prescriptions for stimulant medications [prescription (PG) and comparison (CG) groups, respectively], matched on age, availability of CD4% and outcome measures of cognition, behavior and QOL. Generalized estimating equation models were used to evaluate effects of stimulant exposure on change in measured outcomes over 3 years of follow-up, adjusting for baseline levels of outcomes and relevant covariates.Children in both the PG (n = 132) and the CG (n = 392) obtained mean verbal and performance (nonverbal) intelligence quotients (VIQ and PIQ, respectively) in the low-average range for age. At baseline, those in PG demonstrated more frequent signs of hyperactivity, impulsivity and conduct and learning problems than those in CG (P â‰¤ 0.003 in unadjusted analyses). At follow-up, after adjustment for baseline functioning and other relevant covariates, there were no significant changes from baseline in VIQ or PIQ. Stimulant prescription use, however, was associated with worsening symptoms of hyperactivity (P = 0.01), impulsivity (P = 0.04), learning problems (P < 0.001) and worsening of perceived health status (P < 0.001).The results suggest expectations for behavioral improvement may not align well with long-term effects of stimulant prescription use on behavior and QOL in children with HIV. Further research is necessary to determine if there are subsets of children who may benefit from stimulant therapy.
Treatment of pediatric chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy: Challenges, controversies and questions. - Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
Pediatric chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is an uncommon acquired disorder of unknown cause, presumed to have an immunological basis. We report 20 patients seen at Children's Hospital Los Angeles over a period of 10 years. The outcome of our patients was favorable in a vast majority with good response to various treatments instituted. However, residual neurologic deficit was common. The choice of treatment modality was empirical and selected by the treating neurologist. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and corticosteroids were most commonly utilized for treatment. Plasmapheresis, mycophenolate mofetil, rituximab, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, and abatacept were added if the patients were refractory to IVIG or became corticosteroid dependent. The spectrum of disease severity ranged from a single monophasic episode, to multiphasic with infrequent relapses with good response to IVIG, to progressive disease refractory to multiple therapies.
Clobazam is equally safe and efficacious for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome across different age groups: Post hoc analyses of short- and long-term clinical trial results. - Epilepsy & behavior : E&B
The peak age at onset of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is between 3 and 5years. Patients with LGS frequently experience multiple types of treatment-refractory seizures and require lifelong therapy with several antiepileptic drugs. Here, post hoc analyses of clinical trials (phase III trial OV-1012 and open-label extension trial OV-1004) provide short- and long-term efficacy and safety data of adjunctive clobazam in patients with LGS stratified by age at baseline (â‰¥2 to <12years, â‰¥12 to <17years, and â‰¥17years). In OV-1012, 301 patients were screened, 238 were randomized, 217 comprised the modified intention-to-treat population, and 177 completed the study. A total of 267/306 patients (61 of 68 from phase II trial OV-1002 and 206 of 238 from phase III trial OV-1012) entered the open-label extension trial. Demographics and clinical characteristics were similar between different age groups in OV-1012 and OV-1004. No differences in efficacy or adverse events were observed across age groups in OV-1012 and OV-1004. The results of these post hoc analyses show that adjunctive clobazam over the short and longterm was similarly effective and well-tolerated in both pediatric and adult patients with LGS.Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
How should children with West syndrome be efficiently and accurately investigated? Results from the National Infantile Spasms Consortium. - Epilepsia
To prospectively evaluate the etiology of new-onset infantile spasms and evaluate the yield of genetic and metabolic investigations in those without obvious cause after initial clinical evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).Twenty-one U.S. pediatric epilepsy centers prospectively enrolled infants with newly diagnosed West syndrome in a central database. Etiology and investigations performed within 3 months of diagnosis were documented.From June 2012 to June 2014, a total of 251 infants were enrolled (53% male). A cause was identified in 161 (64.4%) of 250 cases (genetic,14.4%; genetic-structural, 10.0%; structural-congenital, 10.8%; structural-acquired, 22.4%; metabolic, 4.8%; and infectious, 2.0%). An obvious cause was found after initial clinical assessment (history and physical examination) and/or MRI in 138 of 161, whereas further genetic and metabolic studies were revealing in another 23 cases. Of 112 subjects without an obvious cause after initial evaluation and MRI, 81 (72.3%) had undergone genetic testing, which showed a causal abnormality in 23.5% and a variant of unknown significance in 14.8%. Although metabolic studies were done in the majority (serum, 79.5%; urine, 69.6%; and cerebrospinal fluid [CSF], 38.4%), these revealed an etiology in only five cases (4.5%). No correlation was found between type of health insurance (public vs. private) and either genetic or metabolic testing.Clinical evaluation and MRI provide a specific diagnosis in 55% of children presenting with West syndrome. We propose that a cost-effective workup for those without obvious cause after initial clinical evaluation and MRI includes an array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) followed by an epilepsy gene panel if the microarray is not definitive, serum lactate, serum amino acids, and urine organic acids.Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Â© 2015 International League Against Epilepsy.
Squamous-cell carcinoma in situ. - Dermatology online journal
We present a 30-year-old woman with atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis vulgaris and a one-year history of an erythematous, scaly plaque on the dorsal surface of her right hand, which developed three years after an accidental exposure to prolonged ultraviolet C (UVC) radiation in a laboratory accident. The plaque, which was initially treated as eczematous dermatitis, was eventually identified histopathologically as squamous-cell carcinoma in situ. Although causation is not definitive, this case is the first to describe development of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in an area of skin known to be acutely exposed to UVC radiation. As UVC radiation becomes a more frequently used anti-microbial technology, UVC radiation may become a more commonly identified risk factor in the development of NMSC.
Effect of Increased Immunosuppression on Developmental Outcome of Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS). - Journal of child neurology
Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (OMS) produces long-term cognitive, behavioral, and motor deficits. Objective was to see if more aggressive treatment improved outcome. Assessment included opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome rating, developmental/cognitive and motor assessment, and adaptive behavior. Fourteen subjects completed testing. Nine had neuroblastoma. Onset was at 10 to 35 months; onset to diagnosis: 2 days to 14 months, and onset to first treatment: 5 days to 15 months. Initial treatment was corticotropin (12), oral steroids (3), plus intravenous immunoglobulin in all. Ten received rituximab, 5 cyclophosphamide. Age at testing ranged from 2.5 to 10.3 years. Adaptive Behavior Score (11 subjects), mean 93.5; estimated Intelligence Quotient/Developmental Quotient mean 93.5; Motor: mean 92.8. Residual opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome symptoms at the time of the evaluation were generally minor; opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome scores ranged from 0 to 6. Comparison to previously reported opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome subjects showed improved outcomes: Adaptive behavior, cognitive and motor scores were significantly higher (P < .001) in new subjects. Outcomes have improved with more aggressive immunosuppression, with most opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome survivors now functioning at or near normal.Â© The Author(s) 2014.
Ambiguity in practice? Carers' roles in personalised social care in England. - Health & social care in the community
Carers play an ambiguous role within the personalisation paradigm currently shaping adult social care practice in England. Although carers have rights to assessments and support in their own right, these rights sit uneasily alongside the practices of assessment, support planning and personal budget (PB) allocation for older and disabled people. This paper reports how 14 dyads of older and learning disabled people with cognitive and/or communication impairments and their carers viewed the roles - desired and actual - played by carers in PBs. Interviews with carers and with older and disabled people were conducted during 2012 as part of a wider study into carers' roles in assessment, support planning and managing PBs. The interviews complemented a survey of reported practice in two English regions - interviews with adult social care services senior managers and focus groups with front-line care managers. Talking Mats(Â©) were used to support interviews with some service users. Interviews were transcribed and data analysed using the Framework approach. The interviews indicated that carers played important roles in service users' assessments and support planning, but were less likely to report receiving assessments or support of their own. While carers had the potential to benefit from PBs and support arrangements for service users, this did not reflect practice that aimed to enhance choice and control for carers. The paper draws on Twigg's typology of service conceptualisations of family carers and concludes that, despite the important social rights won by carers in England, current practice continues to regard carers primarily as a resource or a co-worker, rather than a co-client.Â© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Stable dosages of clobazam for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are associated with sustained drop-seizure and total-seizure improvements over 3Â years. - Epilepsia
To determine long-term safety and efficacy of adjunctive clobazam for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).Eligible patients from two randomized controlled trials (Phase II OV-1002 and Phase III OV-1012) were able to enroll in open-label extension (OLE) study OV-1004 beginning in December 2005 and received clobazam until they discontinued (mandatory at 2Â years for patients outside the United States) or until study completion in March 2012. Patients in the United States could have received clobazam for 6Â years before it became commercially available. Efficacy assessments included changes in rates of drop seizures and total seizures, responder rates (â‰¥50%, â‰¥75%, or 100% decreases in seizure frequency vs. baseline), sustained efficacy over time, concomitant antiepileptic drug (AED) use, and global evaluations. Safety assessments included exposure to clobazam, laboratory assessments, physical and neurologic examinations, vital sign monitoring, electrocardiography monitoring, and adverse event reporting.Of 267 patients who enrolled in the OLE, 188 (70%) completed the trial. Two hundred seven patients were from the United States, which was the only country in which patients could be treated with clobazam for >2Â years. Forty-four patients were treated with clobazam for 5Â years, and 11 for 6Â years. Because of the low number of Year 6 patients, this group is not reported separately. Improvements in baseline seizure rates were very stable over the course of the study, with a median 85% decrease in drop seizures at Year 1, 87% at Year 2, 92% at Year 3, 97% at Year 4, and a 91% decrease for patients who had reached Year 5. Similar results were observed for total seizures (79% decrease at both Years 1 and 2, 82% decrease at Year 3, 75% decrease at Year 4, and 85% decrease at Year 5). Responder rates were also stable for the duration of the trial. Of patients who had achieved a â‰¥50% decrease in median drop-seizure frequency from baseline to Month 3, 86% still had that degree of drop-seizure reduction at Year 3 (and 14% lost their initial responses), and 47% were drop-seizure-free. Most patients who had achieved drop-seizure freedom in the original controlled trials remained drop-seizure-free in the OLE. Based on parents' and physicians' ratings of global evaluations, 80% of patients were "very much improved" or "much improved" after 3Â years. Of the 43 patients with concomitant AED data who were treated for 5Â years, 30% increased, 19% decreased, and 51% had no change in numbers of AEDs versus their Week 4 regimens. The mean modal clobazam dosage was 0.90Â mg/kg/day at Year 1 and 0.97Â mg/kg/day at Year 5, suggesting that study patients did not need significant increases in dosage over time. The safety profile was what would be expected for clobazam for LGS patients over a 5-year span, and no new safety concerns developed over time.In this largest and longest-running trial in LGS, adjunctive clobazam sustained seizure freedom and substantial seizure improvements at stable dosages through 3Â years of therapy in this difficult- to-treat patient population. A PowerPoint slide summarizing this article is available for download in the Supporting Information section here.Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Â© 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.
Assessment of control in typical childhood absence epilepsy. - Journal of child neurology
We report relevant results of a survey that was aimed at understanding current practice variations in the assessment of control of typical childhood absence epilepsy.
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