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J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2013 Dec;15(2):47-51. doi: 10.1097/CND.0000000000000014.

Adult Sandhoff disease with 2 mutations in the HEXB gene presenting as brachial amyotrophic diplegia.

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Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea.


Sandhoff disease is a rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder of GM2 gangliosides. It is caused by a lack of functional N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase A and B because of mutations in the HEXB gene. We describe a 55-year-old woman with adult Sandhoff disease presenting as brachial amyotrophic diplegia. The assay of total hexosaminidase involving A and B showed decreased level of these activities. Hex-A was 4.6 nmol·min·mL (normal: 7.0-20.0 nmol·min·mL) and Hex-B was 0.1 nmol·min·mL (normal: 1.0-10.0 nmol·min·mL), respectively. Analysis of HEXB gene demonstrated 2 point mutations that were located at the exon 5 (c.619A>G) and exon 11 (c.1250C>T). Compound heterozygosity of these 2 mutations may trigger the development of distinct adult Sandhoff disease phenotype. Sandhoff disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lower motor neuron disease, such as brachial amyotrophic diplegia, even if the age at onset is more than 50 years.

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