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Ann Neurol. 2010 Dec;68(6):876-87. doi: 10.1002/ana.22092.

Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA: clinical spectrum and genotype-phenotype correlations.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Amsterdam Lysosome Center Sphinx, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) IIIA (Sanfilippo syndrome type A) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the enzyme sulfamidase. Information on the natural course of MPS IIIA is scarce, but is much needed in view of emerging therapies.


Clinical history and molecular defects of all 110 MPS IIIA patients identified by enzymatic studies in the Netherlands were collected and included in this study.


First clinical signs, mainly consisting of delayed speech development and behavioral problems, were noted between the ages of 1 and 6 years. Other symptoms included sleeping and hearing problems, recurrent upper airway infections, diarrhea, and epilepsy. The clinical course varied remarkably and could be correlated with the molecular defects. The frequent pathogenic mutations p.R245H, p.Q380R, p.S66W, and c.1080delC were associated with the classical severe phenotype. Patients compound heterozygous for the p.S298P mutation in combination with 1 of the mutations associated with the classical severe phenotype had a significantly longer preservation of psychomotor functions and a longer survival. Two patients homozygous for the p.S298P mutation, and 4 patients from 3 families heterozygous for 3 missense variants not reported previously (p.T421R, p.P180L, and p.L12Q), showed a remarkably attenuated phenotype.


We report the natural history and mutational analysis in a large unbiased cohort of MPS IIIA patients. We demonstrate that the clinical spectrum of MPS IIIA is much broader than previously reported. A significant genotype-phenotype correlation was established in this cohort.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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