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Muscle Nerve. 2004 Feb;29(2):205-10.

Loss-of-function phenotype of hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies.

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Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4201 St. Antoine, UHC-8D, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) provides a human model to investigate the role of PMP22 in myelinated peripheral nerve, since the disease is caused by a deletion of one of the two PMP22 alleles. To systematically characterize the phenotype of HNPP, we prospectively evaluated the clinical features and electrophysiological findings in 17 genetically confirmed patients, 7 men and 10 women, ranging in age from 9 to 66 years (mean, 41 +/- 13). Fifteen symptomatic patients presented with episodes of transient focal weakness or sensory loss that were usually related to particular activities causing nerve compression, including stretching or minor repetitive focal trauma. No patient sought medical attention for symptoms of a symmetric polyneuropathy. Neurological examinations were either normal or mildly abnormal. Neither focal slowing of nerve conduction studies, nor reduction in compound muscle action potential (CMAP) or sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) amplitudes consistently predicted the site of symptoms. We conclude that the majority of patients with HNPP present with transient, recurrent, focal symptoms of weakness or sensory loss in the distribution of individual nerves or plexus, and that a diffuse symmetric sensorimotor polyneuropathy is an unusual presentation of HNPP. These studies suggest that the function of PMP22, at least in part, is to stabilize myelin so that it will be protected from injuries resulting from repetitive, minor trauma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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