Radiological studies of LMNB1-related autosomal dominant leukodystrophy and Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome
Abstract: There are approximately 6000 to 8000 rare diseases, each with a prevalence of less than 1 / 10 000, but in aggregate affecting 6 to 8% of the population. It is important to evaluate disease development and progression to know the natural course of any disease. This information can be utilized in diagnostics and in assessing effects of therapeutic interventions as they become available. This thesis describes the natural clinical history and evolution of imaging findings of two rare diseases over approximately two decades.Papers I, II and III present clinical, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) findings in LMNB1-related autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD). MRI was found to be very sensitive in finding pathology in patients with LMNB1-related ADLD, even before the onset of clinical symptoms. However, even patients with widespread MRI changes can have a relatively mild symptomatology and present only slight disturbances in metabolic examinations such as MRS and FDG-PET. This is compatible with relatively intact axons, even as myelin impairment is widespread.Paper IV presents clinical and MRI findings in the brain and musculature in SIL1-positive Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome (MSS), and describes a new, mild phenotype of the disease with no intellectual disabilities and only slight motor disabilities. With a 19-year-long radiological follow-up, a slow progressive atrophic process in the cerebellum and brainstem could be demonstrated. MRI of the musculature shows early involvement of the quadriceps and gastrocnemii but not the tibialis anterior, progressing to widespread atrophy in the back and upper and lower limbs at the age of 20 years. In the mildest phenotype, the most severely affected muscles were the m gluteus maximus, m sartorius, m peroneus longus, and the lateral head of the m gastrocnemius.
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