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Deletion of the murine survival of motor neuron gene (SMN) exon 7, the most frequent mutation found in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients, directed to neurons but not to skeletal muscle, enabled generation of a mouse model of SMA providing evidence that motor neurons are the primary target of the gene defect. Moreover, the mutated SMN protein(More)
Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a rare, severe neurodevelopmental syndrome characterized by recurrent hemiplegic episodes and distinct neurological manifestations. AHC is usually a sporadic disorder and has unknown etiology. We used exome sequencing of seven patients with AHC and their unaffected parents to identify de novo nonsynonymous(More)
The existence of an association between apolipoprotein E (APOE) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been reported in several studies. The possession of an ApoE epsilon4 allele is now considered a genetic risk factor for sporadic AD. There has been a growing agreement about the role exerted by the ApoE epsilon4 allele on the neuropsychological profile and the(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons of the spinal cord associated with muscle paralysis and caused by mutations of the survival motor neuron gene (SMN). To determine whether SMN gene defect in skeletal muscle might have a role in SMA pathogenesis, deletion of murine SMN exon 7, the most frequent mutation found in(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease, characterized by degeneration of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord. SMA presents with a highly variable phenotype ranging from very severe to mild (type I-III). No cure for SMA is available at present. All forms of SMA are caused by homozygous loss of the functional(More)
Recently, a spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) determining gene, termed survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, has been isolated from the 5q13 region and found deleted in most patients. A highly homologous copy of this gene has also been isolated and located in a centromeric position. We have analyzed 158 patients (SMA types I-IV) and found deletions of SMN exon 7 in(More)
OBJECTIVE To present the clinical features and the results of laboratory investigations in three patients with spinal muscular atrophy associated with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME), a rare condition caused by mutations in the N-acylsphingosine amidohydrosilase 1 (ASAH1) gene. METHODS The patients were submitted to clinical evaluation,(More)
OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy of phenylbutyrate (PB) in patients with spinal muscular atrophy in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 10 Italian centers. METHODS One hundred seven children were assigned to receive PB (500 mg/kg/day) or matching placebo on an intermittent regimen (7 days on/7 days off) for 13 weeks. The(More)
The aim of this study was to evaluate tolerability and efficacy of phenylbutyrate (PB) in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Ten patients with SMA type II confirmed by DNA studies (age range 2.6-12.7 years, mean age 6.01) were started on oral PB (triButyrate) in powder or tablets. The dosage was 500 mg/kg per day (maximum dose 19 g/d), divided in(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder which presents with various clinical phenotypes ranging from severe to very mild. All forms are caused by the homozygous absence of the survival motor neuron ( SMN1 ) gene. SMN1 and a nearly identical copy ( SMN2 ) are located in a duplicated region at 5q13 and encode(More)