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Pediatr Neurol. 2002 Apr;26(4):267-73.

Phenotypic spectrum of Salla disease, a free sialic acid storage disorder.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Turku, Finland.


Salla disease (MIM 269920) represents the mildest phenotype among recessively inherited lysosomal-free sialic acid storage disorders. Although the vast majority of Salla disease patients in Finland share the same founder mutation, R39C in the SLC17A5 gene, there still is a wide clinical variation among mentally retarded, ataxic patients. We evaluated neurologic and neurocognitive findings of Salla disease in a cross-sectional study of 41 Finnish patients who were 11 months to 63 years of age (median = 19.5 years). The phenotype of Salla disease could be classified into two main categories. The majority of patients (90%) had so-called conventional phenotype, including a subgroup of seven patients with relatively mild symptoms. All but two patients with conventional phenotype were homozygous for the Finnish founder mutation. Four severely disabled, profoundly mentally retarded patients, 15-28 years of age, clearly could be clinically delineated as a separate group, likely reflecting the underlying compound heterozygous genotype. A typical developmental pattern could be outlined in the conventional type of the disease, emphasizing a strong motor handicap in Salla disease. The cognitive profile consisted of better verbal ability, especially speech comprehension, compared with nonverbal functioning in all patients. Our results indicate a partial genotype-phenotype correlation, although factors other than the molecular background are also involved in the phenotypic manifestation of Salla disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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