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Saint Mary's, United Kingdom

Walter J.H.,Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2011

Homocystinuria is a rare inherited disorder due to a deficiency in cystathionine beta synthase. Individuals with this condition appear normal at birth but develop serious complications in childhood. Diagnosis and treatment started sufficiently early in life can effectively prevent or reduce the severity of these complications. To determine if newborn population screening for the diagnosis of homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta synthase deficiency leads to clinical benefit compared to later clinical diagnosis. We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Inborn Errors of Metabolism Trials Register.Date of the most recent search of the Inborn Errors of Metabolism Register: 27 June 2011. Randomised controlled trials and controlled clinical trials assessing the use of any neonatal screening test to diagnose infants with homocystinuria before the condition becomes clinically evident. Eligible studies compare a screened population versus a non-screened population. No studies were identified for inclusion in the review. No studies were identified for inclusion in the review. We were unable to identify eligible studies for inclusion in this review and hence it is not possible to draw any conclusions based on controlled studies; however, we are aware of uncontrolled case-series which support the efficacy of newborn screening for homocystinuria and its early treatment. Any future randomised controlled trial would need to be both multicentre and long term in order to provide robust evidence for or against screening and to allow a cost effectiveness analysis to be undertaken. Source

Wijburg F.A.,University of Amsterdam | Sedel F.,Groupe Hospitalier Pitie Salpetriere | Pineda M.,Institute Salud Carlos III | Hendriksz C.J.,Metabolic Unit | And 5 more authors.
Neurology | Year: 2012

Objectives: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C) is a rare, autosomal recessive lysosomal lipid storage disorder that is invariably fatal. NP-C diagnosis can be delayed for years due to heterogeneous presentation; adult-onset NP-C can be particularly difficult to diagnose. We developed a Suspicion Index tool, ranking specific symptoms within and across domains, including family members who have NP-C, to provide a risk prediction score to identify patients who should undergo testing for NP-C. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed in 5 centers in Europe and 2 in Australia (n 216). Three patient types were selected: classic or variant filipin staining NP-C cases (n 71), NP-C noncases (confirmed negative by filipin staining; n 64), or controls with at least 1 characteristic symptom of NP-C (n 81). NP-C signs and symptoms were categorized into visceral, neurologic, or psychiatric domains. Logistic regression was performed on individual signs and symptoms within and across domains, and regression coefficients were used to develop prediction scores for NP-C. Internal validation was performed with the bootstrap resampling method. Results: The Suspicion Index tool has good discriminatory performance with cutpoints for grading suspicion of NP-C. Neonatal jaundice/cholestasis, splenomegaly, vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, cataplexy, and cognitive decline/dementia were strong predictors of NP-C, as well as symptoms occurring in multiple domains in individual patients, and also parents/siblings or cousins with NP-C. Conclusions: The Suspicion Index tool is a screening tool that can help identify patients who may warrant further investigation for NP-C. A score70 indicates that patients should be referred for testing for NP-C. Copyright © 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc. Source

Bastin J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Gillingham M.,Oregon Health And Science University | Morris A.,Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit | Wijburg F.,University of Amsterdam | Wilcken B.,University of Sydney
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease | Year: 2010

Treatment recommendations in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) defects are diverse. With implementation of newborn screening and identification of asymptomatic patients, it is necessary to define whom to treat and how strictly. We here discuss critical questions that are currently under debate. For some asymptomatic long-chain defects, long-chain fat restriction plays a minor role, and a normal diet may be introduced. For patients presenting only with myopathic symptoms, e.g., during exercise, treatment may be adapted to energy demand. As a consequence, patients with exercise-induced myopathy may be able to return to normal activity when provided with medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) prior to exercise. There is no need to limit participation in sports. Progression of retinopathy in disorders of the mitochondrial trifunctional protein complex is closely associated with hydroxyacylcarnitine accumulation. A strict low-fat diet with MCT supplementation is recommended to slow or prevent progression of chorioretinopathy. Additional docosahexanoic acid does not prevent the decline in retinal function but does promote nonspecific improvement in visual acuity and is recommended. There is no evidence that L-carnitine supplementation is beneficial. Thus, supplementation with L-carnitine in a newborn identified by screening with either a medium-chain or long-chain defect is not supported. With respect to the use of the odd-chain medium-chain triglyceride triheptanoin in myopathic phenotypes, randomized trials are needed to establish whether triheptanoin is more effective than even-chain MCT. With increasing pathophysiological knowledge, new treatment options have been identified and are being clinically evaluated. These include the use of bezafibrates in myopathic long-chain defects. © 2010 SSIEM and Springer. Source

Davison J.E.,Birmingham Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust | Davison J.E.,University of Birmingham | Davies N.P.,Birmingham Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust | Wilson M.,University of Birmingham | And 8 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Propionic acidaemia (PA) results from deficiency of Propionyl CoA carboxylase, the commonest form presenting in the neonatal period. Despite best current management, PA is associated with severe neurological sequelae, in particular movement disorders resulting from basal ganglia infarction, although the pathogenesis remains poorly understood. The role of liver transplantation remains controversial but may confer some neuro-protection. The present study utilises quantitative magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to investigate brain metabolite alterations in propionic acidaemia during metabolic stability and acute encephalopathic episodes. Methods. Quantitative MRS was used to evaluate brain metabolites in eight children with neonatal onset propionic acidaemia, with six elective studies acquired during metabolic stability and five studies during acute encephalopathic episodes. MRS studies were acquired concurrently with clinically indicated MR imaging studies at 1.5 Tesla. LCModel software was used to provide metabolite quantification. Comparison was made with a dataset of MRS metabolite concentrations from a cohort of children with normal appearing MR imaging. Results: MRI findings confirm the vulnerability of basal ganglia to infarction during acute encephalopathy. We identified statistically significant decreases in basal ganglia glutamate+glutamine and N-Acetylaspartate, and increase in lactate, during encephalopathic episodes. In white matter lactate was significantly elevated but other metabolites not significantly altered. Metabolite data from two children who had received liver transplantation were not significantly different from the comparator group. Conclusions: The metabolite alterations seen in propionic acidaemia in the basal ganglia during acute encephalopathy reflect loss of viable neurons, and a switch to anaerobic respiration. The decrease in glutamine + glutamate supports the hypothesis that they are consumed to replenish a compromised Krebs cycle and that this is a marker of compromised aerobic respiration within brain tissue. Thus there is a need for improved brain protective strategies during acute metabolic decompensations. MRS provides a non-invasive tool for which could be employed to evaluate novel treatments aimed at restoring basal ganglia homeostasis. The results from the liver transplantation sub-group supports the hypothesis that liver transplantation provides systemic metabolic stability by providing a hepatic pool of functional propionyl CoA carboxylase, thus preventing further acute decompensations which are associated with the risk of brain infarction. © 2011 Davison et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Patterson M.C.,Mayo Medical School | Vecchio D.,Columbia University | Jacklin E.,Willink Biochemical Genetics Unit | Abel L.,University of Melbourne | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Child Neurology | Year: 2010

Niemann-Pick disease type C is a rare, genetic disease associated with impaired intracellular lipid trafficking and progressive neurological symptoms. Miglustat slowed disease progression in a 12-month randomized trial in juveniles and adults with Niemann-Pick disease type C, and in a parallel, noncontrolled study in affected children. Here, the authors report the open-label extension to the pediatric study. Patients aged 4 to 12 years received open-label miglustat (dose adjusted for body surface area) for an initial 12 months, during a further 12-month extension, and a long-term, continued extension phase. Efficacy assessments included horizontal saccadic eye movement, swallowing, and ambulation. Ten children completed 24 months treatment. Horizontal saccadic eye movement, ambulation, and swallowing were stabilized at 24 months. Analysis of key parameters of disease progression showed disease stability in 8 of 10 patients (80%). Miglustat stabilized neurological disease progression in pediatric patients with Niemann-Pick disease type C, with comparable safety and tolerability to that observed in adults and juveniles. Source

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