Genetic Testing Contributes to Diagnosis in Cerebral Palsy: Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome as an Example

Diane Beysen, Chania De Cordt, Charlotte Dielman, Benson Ogunjimi, Julie Dandelooy, Edwin Reyniers, Katrien Janssens, Marije M E Meuwissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by motor impairments, often accompanied by co-morbidities such as intellectual disability, epilepsy, visual and hearing impairment and speech and language deficits. Despite the established role of hypoxic-ischemic injury in some CP cases, several studies suggest that birth asphyxia is actually an uncommon cause, accounting for <10% of CP cases. For children with CP in the absence of traditional risk factors, a genetic basis to their condition is increasingly suspected. Several recent studies indeed confirm copy number variants and single gene mutations with large genetic heterogeneity as an etiology in children with CP. Here, we report three patients with spastic cerebral palsy and a genetically confirmed diagnosis of Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS), with highly variable phenotypes ranging from clinically suggestive to non-specific symptomatology. Our findings suggest that AGS may be a rather common cause of CP, that frequently remains undiagnosed without additional genetic testing, as in only one case a clinical suspicion of AGS was raised. Our data show that a diagnosis of AGS must be considered in cases with spastic CP, even in the absence of characteristic brain abnormalities. Importantly, a genetic diagnosis of AGS may have significant therapeutic consequences, as targeted therapies are being developed for type 1 interferonopathies, the group of diseases to which AGS belongs. Our findings demonstrate the importance of next generation sequencing in CP patients without an identifiable cause, since targeted diagnostic testing is hampered by the often non-specific presentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number617813
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 Beysen, De Cordt, Dielman, Ogunjimi, Dandelooy, Reyniers, Janssens and Meuwissen.

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