Clinical findings and diagnosis in genetic prion diseases in Germany
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY
Authors: Krasnianski, Anna; Heinemann, Uta; Ponto, Claudia; Kortt, Jasmine; Kallenberg, Kai; Varges, Daniela; Schulz-Schaeffer, Walter J.; Kretzschmar, Hans A.; Zerr, Inga
To describe the clinical syndrome and diagnostic tests in patients with genetic prion diseases (gPD) in Germany. Clinical features, MRI, EEG, and CSF markers were studied in 91 patients (28 D178N, 20 E200K, 17 inserts, 13 V210I, 8 P102L, 5 E196K). Dementia (35 %) and ataxia (29 %) were the most common initial symptoms and signs. A wide variety and high frequency of neurological/psychiatric symptoms and signs was found during disease course in all patients independently of the type of the mutation. Psychiatric manifestations were frequent (87 %). Neuropsychological abnormalities were observed in 67 %, and aphasia was the most common disturbance (45 %). In E200K, V210I and D178N patients, visual/oculomotor deficits were followed by ataxia early in the disease. Dementia followed by ataxia at onset was common in patients with insert and E196K mutation. P102L patients had isolated ataxia over a longer time period followed by pyramidal signs. Dementia was present only late in the disease course. All clinical routine tests such as MRI, EEG and CSF tests were less sensitive than in sporadic CJD. We provide the first detailed analysis of clinical signs and symptoms in a large group of patients with gPD. Frequency of clinical symptoms and signs was similar in different mutations in a later disease course, but the sequence of occurrence may be of great diagnostic importance. CSF markers were shown to be more sensitive than MRI and EEG.
The First Report of Genetic and Structural Diversities in the SPRN Gene in the Horse, an Animal Resistant to Prion Disease
Authors: Won, Sae-Young; Kim, Yong-Chan; Kim, Seon-Kwan; Jeong, Byung-Hoon
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases and are characterized by the accumulation of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) in the brain. During the outbreak of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom, prion diseases in several species were reported; however, horse prion disease has not been reported thus far. In previous studies, the shadow of prion protein (Sho) has contributed to an acceleration of conversion from normal prion protein (PrP (c)) to PrPSc, and the shadow of prion protein gene (SPRN) polymorphisms have been significantly associated with the susceptibility of prion diseases. We investigated the genotype, allele and haplotype frequencies of the SPRN gene using direct sequencing. In addition, we analyzed linkage disequilibrium (LD) and haplotypes among polymorphisms. We also investigated LD between PRNP and SPRN single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We compared the amino acid sequences of Sho protein between the horse and several prion disease-susceptible species using ClustalW2. To perform Sho protein modeling, we utilized SWISS-MODEL and Swiss-PdbViewer programs. We found a total of four polymorphisms in the equine SPRN gene; however, we did not observe an in/del polymorphism, which is correlated with the susceptibility of prion disease in prion disease-susceptible animals. The SPRN SNPs showed weak LD value with PRNP SNP. In addition, we found 12 horse-specific amino acids of Sho protein that can induce significantly distributional differences in the secondary structure and hydrogen bonds between the horse and several prion disease-susceptible species. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the genetic and structural characteristics of the equine SPRN gene.