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Prenat Diagn. 2005 Oct;25(10):930-3.

Prenatal diagnosis in a family with X-linked hydrocephalus.

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National Genetics Reference Laboratory, Regional Genetics Service, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK.


The neural cell adhesion molecule L1 is a transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). Its expression is essential during embryonic development of the nervous system and it is involved in cognitive function and memory. Mutations in the L1CAM gene are responsible for four related L1 disorders; X-linked hydrocephalus/HSAS (Hydrocephalus as a result of Stenosis of the Aqueduct of Sylvius), MASA (Mental retardation, Aphasia, Shuffling gait, and Adducted thumbs) syndrome, X-linked complicated spastic paraplegia type I (SPG1) and X-linked Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC). These four disorders represent a clinical spectrum that varies both between and within families. The main clinical features of this spectrum are Corpus callosum hypoplasia, mental Retardation, Adducted thumbs, Spastic paraplegia and Hydrocephalus (CRASH syndrome). Since there is no biochemically assayed disease marker, molecular analysis of the L1CAM gene is the only means of confirming a clinical diagnosis. Most L1CAM mutations reported to date are point mutations (missense, nonsense, splice site) and only a few patients with larger rearrangements have been documented. We have characterised a rare intragenic deletion of the L1CAM gene in a sample of DNA extracted from a chorionic villus biopsy (CVB) performed at 12 weeks' gestation. =.

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