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Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating rare disease that affects individuals regardless of ethnicity, gender, and age. The first-approved disease-modifying therapy for SMA, nusinursen, was approved by Health Canada, as well as by American and European regulatory agencies following positive clinical trial outcomes. The trials were conducted in a narrow pediatric population defined by age, severity, and genotype. Broad approval of therapy necessitates close follow-up of potential rare adverse events and effectiveness in the larger real-world population.
The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR) undertook an iterative multi-stakeholder process to expand the existing SMA dataset to capture items relevant to patient outcomes in a post-marketing environment. The CNDR SMA expanded registry is a longitudinal, prospective, observational study of patients with SMA in Canada designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of novel therapies and provide practical information unattainable in trials.
The consensus expanded dataset includes items that address therapy effectiveness and safety and is collected in a multicenter, prospective, observational study, including SMA patients regardless of therapeutic status. The expanded dataset is aligned with global datasets to facilitate collaboration. Additionally, consensus dataset development aimed to standardize appropriate outcome measures across the network and broader Canadian community. Prospective outcome studies, data use, and analyses are independent of the funding partner.
Prospective outcome data collected will provide results on safety and effectiveness in a post-therapy approval era. These data are essential to inform improvements in care and access to therapy for all SMA patients.
Progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO) is a mitochondrial myopathy of ocular muscles. Diagnostic investigation usually involves limb skeletal muscle biopsy and molecular genetic studies, although diagnostic yield tends to be low. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic yield obtained by analysis of levator palpebrae (LP) muscle tissue.
This is a clinicopathologic study of 8 patients with a diagnosis of PEO, who had LP muscle biopsies as part of oculoplastic procedures. Six of these patients also had limb muscle biopsies. Histopathology, electron microscopy and genetic studies were performed.
Diagnostic histopathologic findings were present in 4/6 quadriceps biopsies, and 7/8 LP biopsies. Genetic testing on DNA extracted from LP muscle revealed abnormalities in 4 patients.
In patients whose LP muscle demonstrate both genetic defects and histopathological abnormalities, the diagnosis of PEO can be confirmed without limb muscle biopsy. Patients having LP resection during oculoplastics procedures for treatment of ptosis may therefore be able to avoid a separate procedure for limb muscle biopsy. Further study is required to determine the specificity of these findings.
Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) is a mitochondrial syndrome on a disease spectrum with Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS). Clinical presentation is variable and our experience suggested that phenotypic differences exist in CPEO with onset after age 20.
This descriptive study is a retrospective chart review of 40 patients with late-onset CPEO. Clinical features, laboratory and neurophysiology results were reviewed.
Multisystem dysfunction was very common in this series. Gastrointestinal dysfunction was more common than expected (60%) as was migraine headache (40%). Clinical characteristics on the KSS disease spectrum were uncommon in this series with only 2.5% having pigmentary retinopathy, 5% with cardiac conduction abnormality, and 22.5% having endocrinopathy (most often thyroid dysfunction rather than diabetes). Neurophysiology abnormalities included length-dependent axonal polyneuropathy in 44% (sometimes subclinical) and myopathic EMG changes in 26%. Exposure to sources of acquired mitochondrial toxicity including cigarette use and hepatitis C infection were more common than expected in this series.
Phenotype was different in this late-onset series compared with previous reports in CPEO patients. In this series of late-onset patients, multi-organ dysfunction was more common than previously reported in CPEO, and some classical mitochondrial manifestations, such as pigmentary retinopathy were rare. We suggest that acquired mitochondrial toxicity may have a role in the pathogenesis of adult-onset CPEO.
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