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Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder of girls, caused by mutations in the X-linked MECP2 gene. Worldwide recognition of the RTT clinical phenotype in the early 1980's allowed many cases to be diagnosed, and established RTT as one of the most common mental retardation syndromes in females. The years since then led to a refinement of the phenotype and the recent elaboration of Revised Diagnostic Criteria (RDC). Here, we study the impact of the presence versus the absence of the use of diagnostic criteria from the RDC to make a diagnosis of RTT on MECP2 mutation detection in Canadian patients diagnosed and suspected of having RTT.
Using dHPLC followed by sequencing in all exons of the MECP2 gene, we compared mutation detection in a historic cohort of 35 patients diagnosed with RTT without the use of specific diagnostic criteria to a separate more recent group of 101 patients included on the basis of strict fulfillment of the RDC.
The MECP2 mutation detection rate was much higher in subjects diagnosed using a strict adherence to the RDC (20% vs. 72%).
These results suggest that clinical diagnostic procedures significantly influence the rate of mutation detection in RTT, and more generally emphasize the importance of diagnostic tools in the assessment of neurobehavioral syndromes.
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a form of intracranial vascular disease that may arise sporadically or be dominantly inherited. Linkage studies have revealed genetic heterogeneity among the dominantly inherited forms suggesting the existence of at least three loci called CCM1, CCM2 and CCM3.
In the present study, we screened five families with dominantly inherited CCM for CCM1 gene mutations with denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Then, we performed linkage analysis and haplotyping on these five families using highly polymorphic markers at the candidate CCM loci.
None of the five families tested with DHPLC were found to have mutations in the CCM1 gene. Based on haplotyping, we identified three families segregating alleles for CCM2, while two families segregated alleles for CCM3. Using linkage analysis, we could confirm that one family (IFCAS-1) had a positive Lod score of 2.03 (p<0.0001) at the CCM2 locus using marker D7S678.
The present study is the first one to replicate linkage at the CCM2 locus and provides a fifth family identified as such. It also supports the concept of genetic heterogeneity in CCM, identifying four other families that showed no mutations in the CCM1 gene.
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