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Ann Neurol. 2005 Mar;57(3):415-24.

Phenotypes of the N88S Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy 2 mutation.

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Institute of Medical Biology and Human Genetics, Medical University Graz, Harachgasse 21/8, A-08010 Graz, Austria.


Recently, two missense mutations (N88S, S90L) in the Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy gene have been identified in autosomal dominant distal hereditary motor neuropathy and Silver syndrome. We report the phenotypic consequences of the N88S mutation in 90 patients of 1 large Austrian family and two unrelated German families. Variation in the clinical and electrophysiological phenotype enabled us to distinguish six subtypes. In 4.4%, the disorder was not penetrant. Twenty percent of the patients were subclinically affected; some of these patients could only be detected by pathological nerve conduction studies. A distal hereditary motor neuropathy type V phenotype characterized by predominant hand muscle involvement was found in 31.1%, whereas 14.5% showed typical Silver syndrome with amyotrophy of the small hand muscles and spasticity of the lower extremities. Moreover, the phenotype present in 20% was compatible with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. In 10%, the clinical diagnosis of pure or complicated hereditary spastic paraparesis was made. Electrophysiological studies showed an axonal neuropathy but also chronodispersion of compound motor action potentials and conduction blocks. Sensory nerve conduction studies were rarely pathological. Our study indicates that the dominant N88S mutation in the Berardinelli-Seip congenital lipodystrophy gene 2 leads to a broad spectrum of motor neuron disorders.

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