Intellectual ability in the duchenne muscular dystrophy and dystrophin gene mutation location.
ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of muscular dystrophy during childhood. Mutations in dystrophin (DMD) gene are also recognized as a cause of cognitive impairment. We aimed to determine the association between intelligence level and mutation location in DMD genes in Serbian patients with DMD. Forty-one male patients with DMD, aged 3 to 16 years, were recruited at the Clinic for Neurology and Psychiatry for Children and Youth in Belgrade, Serbia. All patients had defined DMD gene deletions or duplications [multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR)] and cognitive status assessment (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Brunet-Lezine scale, Vineland-Doll scale). In 37 patients with an estimated full scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ), six (16.22%) had borderline intelligence (70
Project description:BACKGROUND: A significant component of the variation in cognitive disability that is observed in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is known to be under genetic regulation. In this study we report correlations between standardised measures of intelligence and mutational class, mutation size, mutation location and the involvement of dystrophin isoforms. METHODS AND RESULTS: Sixty two male subjects were recruited as part of a study of the cognitive spectrum in boys with DMD conducted at the Sydney Children's Hospital (SCH). All 62 children received neuropsychological testing from a single clinical psychologist and had a defined dystrophin gene (DMD) mutation; including DMD gene deletions, duplications and DNA point mutations. Full Scale Intelligence Quotients (FSIQ) in unrelated subjects with the same mutation were found to be highly correlated (r = 0.83, p = 0.0008), in contrast to results in previous publications. In 58 cases (94%) it was possible to definitively assign a mutation as affecting one or more dystrophin isoforms. A strong association between the risk of cognitive disability and the involvement of groups of DMD isoforms was found. In particular, improvements in the correlation of FSIQ with mutation location were identified when a new classification system for mutations affecting the Dp140 isoform was implemented. SIGNIFICANCE: These data represent one of the largest studies of FSIQ and mutational data in DMD patients and is among the first to report on a DMD cohort which has had both comprehensive mutational analysis and FSIQ testing through a single referral centre. The correlation between FSIQ results with the location of the dystrophin gene mutation suggests that the risk of cognitive deficit is a result of the cumulative loss of central nervous system (CNS) expressed dystrophin isoforms, and that correct classification of isoform involvement results in improved estimates of risk.
Project description:The presence of variable degrees of non progressive cognitive impairment is recognized as a clinical feature of patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (DMD and BMD), but its pathogenesis still remains a matter of debate. A number of findings have proved that rearrangements located in the second part of the dystrophin ( DMD ) gene seem to be preferentially associated with cognitive impairment. Dp140 is a distal dystrophin isoform, mainly expressed during fetal brain development, whose role for neuropsychological functioning was suggested. The aims of the current study were to explore the possible association between cognitive impairment and DNA mutations affecting the regulatory regions of Dp140, as well as to compare the neuropsychological functioning of patients affected with DMD and Intermediate muscular dystrophy (IMD) with those affected by Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). Fiftythree patients genetically diagnosed with DMD, IMD and BMD, subdivided according to sites of mutations along the DMD gene, underwent a neuropsychological assessment, evaluating their general cognitive abilities, verbal memory, attention and executive functions. Twenty patients with mutations, terminating in exon 44 or starting at exon 45 were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of microsatellites STR44, SK12, SK21 and P20 DXS269, in order to evaluate the integrity of the Dp140 promoter region. According to our statistical results, there was not a significant difference in terms of general intelligence between the allelic forms of the disease, a higher frequency of mental retardation was observed in DMD patients. The patients with BMD had better results on tests, measuring long-term verbal learning memory and executive functions. We found that patients lacking Dp140 performed more poorly on all neuropsychological tests compared to those with preserved Dp140. Overall, our findings suggest that the loss of Dp140 is associated with a higher risk of intellectual impairment among patients with dystrophinopathies and highlights the possible role of this distal isoform in normal cognitive development.
Project description:Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a muscular dystrophy with high incidence of learning and behavioural problems and is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. To gain more insights into the role of dystrophin in this cognitive phenotype, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression patterns of dystrophin isoforms across human brain development, using unique transcriptomic data from Allen Human Brain and BrainSpan atlases. Dystrophin isoforms show large changes in expression through life with pronounced differences between the foetal and adult human brain. The Dp140 isoform was expressed in the cerebral cortex only in foetal life stages, while in the cerebellum it was also expressed postnatally. The Purkinje isoform Dp427p was virtually absent. The expression of dystrophin isoforms was significantly associated with genes implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorders or attention-deficit hyper-activity disorders, which are known to be associated to DMD. We also identified relevant functional associations of the different isoforms, like an association with axon guidance or neuron differentiation during early development. Our results point to the crucial role of several dystrophin isoforms in the development and function of the human brain.
Project description:Multiple isoforms of dystrophin (Dp427, Dp260, Dp140, Dp71) are expressed differentially in the central nervous system (CNS) including the retinal layers. Disruption of these protein products is responsible for cognitive dysfunction, electroretinogram (ERG) abnormalities and behavioural disorders in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We studied the ocular characteristics and neuropsychiatric profile of 16 DMD boys. The ISCEV standard, full-field flash ERGs were assessed. Intellectual ability and behavioural disturbances were measured. All genotypes were associated with mildly abnormal photopic ERG a:b-wave amplitude ratios. In addition, we identified the following genotype/phenotype correlations: boys with mutations upstream of exon 30 (ie, isolated Dp427 altered expression) showed normal scotopic a:b ratios, abnormal photopic oscillatory potential OP2 and normal scotopic OP2. Conversely, all boys with DMD mutations downstream of exon 30 showed profoundly 'negative' scotopic ERGs (a:b ratios >1). In these patients, the involvement of Dp260 isoform resulted in the absence of slow rod pathway signalling in15?Hz scotopic flicker ERGs. These boys had abnormal scotopic OP2 and normal photopic OP2. Finally, children with mutations also affecting Dp71 were associated with more pronounced electronegative ERGs. When correlating ERGs to neurodevelopmental outcome, we found a positive correlation between negative scotopic ERGs and neurodevelopmental disturbances, and the most severe findings were in boys with Dp71 disruption. These findings suggest a strong association between DMD mutations affecting different DMD isoforms with characteristically abnormal scotopic ERGs and severe neurodevelopmental problems. The role of the ERG as a potential biomarker for dystrophin function in the CNS and response to novel genetic therapies warrants further exploration.
Project description:Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has emerged as a model to assess cognitive domains. The DMD gene variant location and its association with variable degrees of cognitive impairment necessitate identification of a common denominator. Computer architectures provide a framework to delineate the mechanisms involved in the cognitive functioning of the human brain. Copy number variations in the 79 exons of DMD gene were screened in 84 DMD subjects by Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA). DMD subjects were categorized based on the presence or absence of DP140 isoform. The cognitive and neuropsychological assessments were carried out as per inclusion criteria using standard scales. Instance-based learning theory (IBLT) based on the partial matching process was developed to mimic Stroop Color and Word Task (SCWT) performance on Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture based on IBLT. Genotype-phenotype correlation was conducted based on the mutation location in DMD gene. Assessment of specific cognitive domains in DP140 - ve group corresponded to the involvement of multiple brain lobes including temporal (verbal and visual learning and memory), parietal (visuo-conceptual and visuo-constructive abilities) and frontal (sustained and focused attention, verbal fluency, cognitive control). Working memory axis was found to be the central domain through tasks including RAVLT trial 1, recency effect, digit span backward, working memory index, arithmetic subtests in the Dp140 - ve group. IBLT validated the non-reliance of DMD subjects on recency indicating affected working memory domain. Modeling strategy revealed altered working memory processes in DMD cases with affected Dp140 isoform. DMD brain was observed to rely on primacy than the recency suggesting alterations in working memory capacity. Modeling revealed lowered activation of DMD brain with Dp140 - ve in order to retrieve the instances.
Project description:Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) causes cognitive impairment in one third of the patients, although the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Recent studies showed that mutations in the distal part of the dystrophin gene correlate well with the cognitive impairment in DMD patients, which is attributed to Dp71. The study on the expression of the shortest isoform, Dp40, has not been possible due to the lack of an isoform specific antibody. Dp40 has the same promoter as that found in Dp71 and lacks the normal C-terminal end of Dp427. In the present study, we have raised polyclonal antibody against the N-terminal sequence common to short isoforms of dystrophin, including Dp40, and investigated the expression pattern of Dp40 in the mouse brain. Affinity chromatography with this antibody and the consecutive LC-MS/MS analysis on the interacting proteins revealed that Dp40 was abundantly expressed in synaptic vesicles and interacted with a group of presynaptic proteins, including syntaxin1A and SNAP25, which are involved in exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in neurons. We thus suggest that Dp40 may form a novel protein complex and play a crucial role in presynaptic function. Further studies on these aspects of Dp40 function might provide more insight into the molecular mechanisms of cognitive impairment found in patients with DMD.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:With increasing life expectancy, comorbidities become overt in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Although micturition problems are common, bladder function is poorly understood in DMD. We studied dystrophin expression and multiple isoform involvement in the bladder during maturation to gain insights into their roles in micturition. METHODS:Dystrophin distribution was evaluated in rat bladders by immunohistochemical colocalization with smooth muscle, interstitial, urothelial, and neuronal markers. Protein levels of Dp140, Dp71, and smooth muscle were quantitated by Western blotting of neonatal to adult rat bladders. RESULTS:Dystrophin colocalized with smooth muscle cells and afferent nerve fibers. Dp71 was expressed two- to threefold higher compared with Dp140, independently of age. Age-related muscle mass changes did not influence isoform expression levels. DISCUSSION:Dystrophin is expressed in smooth muscle cells and afferent nerve fibers in the urinary bladder, which underscores that micturition problems in DMD may have not solely a myogenic but also a neurogenic origin. Muscle Nerve 60: 202-210, 2019.
Project description:Genetic mutations in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene affecting the expression of dystrophin protein lead to a number of muscle disorders collectively called dystrophinopathies. In addition to muscle dystrophin, mutations in brain-specific dystrophin isoforms, in particular those that are expressed in the brain cortex and Purkinje neurons, result in cognitive impairment associated with DMD. These isoforms carry minor variations in the flanking region of the N-terminal actin-binding domain (ABD1) of dystrophin, which is composed of two calponin-homology (CH) domains in tandem. Determining the effect of these sequence variations is critical for understanding the mechanisms that govern varied symptoms of the disease. We studied the impact of differences in the N-terminal flanking region on the structure and function of dystrophin tandem CH domain isoforms. The amino acid changes did not affect the global structure of the protein but drastically affected the thermodynamic stability, with the muscle isoform more stable than the brain and Purkinje isoforms. Actin binding investigated with actin from different sources (skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and platelets) revealed that the muscle isoform binds to filamentous actin (F-actin) with a lower affinity compared to the brain and Purkinje isoforms, and a similar trend was observed with actin from different sources. In addition, all isoforms showed a higher affinity to smooth muscle actin in comparison to actin from other sources. In conclusion, tandem CH domain isoforms might be using minor sequence variations in the N-terminal flanking regions to modulate their thermodynamic stability and actin-binding function, thus leading to specificity in dystrophin-actin interactions in various tissues.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite early diagnosis and treatment, Classical Galactosemia (CG) patients frequently develop long-term complications, such as cognitive impairment. Available literature primarily reports on general intellectual abilities and shows a substantially lower Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) in CG patients than in the general population. Both problems in social functioning as well as internalizing problems are often reported in CG patients. The combination of intelligence, cognitive functioning, behavior and social functioning has not been studied systematically in CG patients. METHODS:To determine if CG patients demonstrate a specific neuropsychological and psychosocial profile, we investigated intelligence, functioning on multiple cognitive domains, behavior and social functioning with a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and questionnaires (self- and proxy-reported). RESULTS:The data of 48 patients, aged 4-47?years are reported. FSIQ ranged from 45 to 103 (mean 77?±?14). A negative correlation between age and FSIQ was demonstrated (p?=?0.037) which resulted directly from the inclusion of four young 'milder' patients detected by newborn screening (NBS) with an expected better clinical outcome. Compared to normative data, patients had significantly lower but highly variable scores on all cognitive domains, especially on tests requiring mental speed. In the context of the FSIQ, 43% of the cognitive test results exceeded IQ based expectations. Overall, the patients' scores on social functioning were in the normal range but internalizing problems were frequently reported. In our cohort, an early initiation of dietary treatment due to NBS or family screening did not result in a more favorable neuropsychological outcome. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we demonstrated that as a cohort, CG patients have a below average intelligence and impaired cognitive functioning without a distinctive neuropsychological profile. The effect of age on neurocognitive functioning should be assessed in longitudinal studies. Social functioning was not impaired, but patients may be at risk for internalizing problems. Considering the large variability in cognitive, behavioral and social functioning and the finding that cognitive outcomes may exceed IQ based expectations, an individual evaluation and follow-up is warranted in all CG patients to ensure timely support if needed.
Project description:The molecular basis underlying the clinical variability in symptomatic Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) carriers are still to be precised. We report 26 cases of early symptomatic DMD carriers followed in the French neuromuscular network. Clinical presentation, muscular histological analysis and type of gene mutation, as well as X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) patterns using DNA extracted from peripheral blood or muscle are detailed. The initial symptoms were significant weakness (88%) or exercise intolerance (27%). Clinical severity varied from a Duchenne-like progression to a very mild Becker-like phenotype. Cardiac dysfunction was present in 19% of the cases. Cognitive impairment was worthy of notice, as 27% of the carriers are concerned. The muscular analysis was always contributive, revealing muscular dystrophy (83%), mosaic in immunostaining (81%) and dystrophin abnormalities in western blot analysis (84%). In all, 73% had exonic deletions or duplications and 27% had point mutations. XCI pattern was biased in 62% of the cases. In conclusion, we report the largest series of manifesting DMD carriers at pediatric age and show that exercise intolerance and cognitive impairment may reveal symptomatic DMD carriers. The complete histological and immunohistological study of the muscle is the key of the diagnosis leading to the dystrophin gene analysis. Our study shows also that cognitive impairment in symptomatic DMD carriers is associated with mutations in the distal part of the DMD gene. XCI study does not fully explain the mechanisms as well as the wide spectrum of clinical phenotype, though a clear correlation between the severity of the phenotype and inactivation bias was observed.