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BMC Neurol. 2016 Aug 17;16:138. doi: 10.1186/s12883-016-0664-6.

Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy in children: design of a prospective, observational study on natural history, predictors and clinical impact (iFocus FSHD).

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Rianne.Goselink@radboudumc.nl.
2
Department of Neurology, Donders Center for Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Rehabilitation, Donders Center for Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Clinical audiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Op Ophthalmology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
7
Department of Paediatric Neurology, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD; OMIM 158900 & 158901) is a progressive skeletal muscle dystrophy, characterized by an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. One of the major unsolved questions in FSHD is the marked clinical heterogeneity, ranging from asymptomatic individuals to severely affected patients with an early onset. An estimated 10% of FSHD patients have an early onset (onset before 10 years of age) and are traditionally classified as infantile FSHD. This subgroup is regarded as severely affected and extra-muscular symptoms, such as hearing loss and retinopathy, are frequently described. However, information on the prevalence, natural history and clinical management of early onset FSHD is currently lacking, thereby hampering adequate patient counselling and management. Therefore, a population-based prospective cohort study on FSHD in children is highly needed.

METHODS/DESIGN:

This explorative study aims to recruit all children (aged 0-17 years) with a genetically confirmed diagnosis of FSHD in The Netherlands. The children will be assessed at baseline and at 2-year follow-up. The general aim of the study is the description of the clinical features and genetic characteristics of this paediatric cohort. The primary outcome is the motor function as measured by the Motor Function Measure. Secondary outcomes include quantitative and qualitative description of the clinical phenotype, muscle imaging, genotyping and prevalence estimations. The ultimate objective will be a thorough description of the natural history, predictors of disease severity and quality of life in children with FSHD.

DISCUSSION:

The results of this population-based study are vital for adequate patient management and clinical trial-readiness. Furthermore, this study is expected to provide additional insight in the epigenetic and environmental disease modifying factors. In addition to improve counselling, this could contribute to unravelling the aetiology of FSHD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

clinicaltrials.gov NCT02625662.

KEYWORDS:

Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy; Muscular dystrophies; Neuromuscular diseases; Observational study; Paediatrics

PMID:
27530735
PMCID:
PMC4988042
DOI:
10.1186/s12883-016-0664-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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