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Panteghini C.,Foundation Neurological Institute C Besta | Zorzi G.,Foundation Neurological Institute C Besta | Venco P.,Foundation Neurological Institute C Besta | Dusi S.,Foundation Neurological Institute C Besta | And 10 more authors.
Seminars in Pediatric Neurology | Year: 2012

Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) defines a wide spectrum of clinical entities characterized by iron accumulation in specific regions of the brain, predominantly in the basal ganglia. We evaluated the presence of FA2H and C19orf12 mutations in a cohort of 46 Italian patients with early onset NBIA, which were negative for mutations in the PANK2 and PLA2G6 genes. Follow-up molecular genetic and in vitro analyses were then performed. We did not find any mutations in the FA2H gene, although we identified 3 patients carrying novel mutations in the C19orf12 gene. The recent discovery of new genes responsible for NBIA extends the spectrum of the genetic investigation now available for these disorders and makes it possible to delineate a clearer clinical-genetic classification of different forms of this syndrome. A large fraction of patients still remain without a molecular genetics diagnosis, suggesting that additional NBIA genes are still to be discovered. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source


Leoni V.,Irccs Foundation Neurological Institute Cbesta | Strittmatter L.,Harvard University | Strittmatter L.,Cambridge Broad Institute | Zorzi G.,Irccs Foundation Neurological Institute Cbesta | And 15 more authors.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) is a rare, inborn error of metabolism characterized by iron accumulation in the basal ganglia and by the presence of dystonia, dysarthria, and retinal degeneration. Mutations in pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2), the rate-limiting enzyme in mitochondrial coenzyme A biosynthesis, represent the most common genetic cause of this disorder. How mutations in this core metabolic enzyme give rise to such a broad clinical spectrum of pathology remains a mystery. To systematically explore its pathogenesis, we performed global metabolic profiling on plasma from a cohort of 14 genetically defined patients and 18 controls. Notably, lactate is elevated in PKAN patients, suggesting dysfunctional mitochondrial metabolism. As predicted, but never previously reported, pantothenate levels are higher in patients with premature stop mutations in PANK2. Global metabolic profiling and follow-up studies in patient-derived fibroblasts also reveal defects in bile acid conjugation and lipid metabolism, pathways that require coenzyme A. These findings raise a novel therapeutic hypothesis, namely, that dietary fats and bile acid supplements may hold potential as disease-modifying interventions. Our study illustrates the value of metabolic profiling as a tool for systematically exploring the biochemical basis of inherited metabolic diseases. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. Source


Pandolfi E.,Bambino Gesu Pediatric Research Hospital | Carloni E.,Bambino Gesu Pediatric Research Hospital | Marino M.G.,Bambino Gesu Pediatric Research Hospital | Ciofi degli Atti M.L.,Bambino Gesu Pediatric Research Hospital | And 9 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Since children with chronic diseases represent a primary target for immunization strategies, it is important that their immunization coverage and timeliness of vaccines is optimal. We performed a study to measure immunization coverage and timeliness of vaccines in children with type 1 diabetes, HIV infection, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and neurological diseases. A total of 275 children aged 6 months-18 years were included in the study. Coverage for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), polio (Pol), and hepatitis B (HBV) vaccines approximated 85% at 24 months, while measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) coverage was 62%. Immunization coverage for seasonal influenza was 59%. The analysis of timeliness revealed that there was heterogeneity among children with different chronic diseases. A proportional hazard model showed that children with HIV infection had the longest time to complete three doses of DTP, Pol, and HBV, and those with neurological diseases received the first dose of MMR later than the other categories. Causes of missing or delayed vaccination mostly included a concurrent acute disease. Children with chronic diseases should be strictly monitored for routine and recommended vaccinations, and health care providers and families should be properly informed to avoid false contraindications. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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