Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed owing to its recent identification. It is characterized clinically by recurrent cerebral infarcts, usually appearing between the ages of 30 and 50 years, subcortical dementia, and pseudobulbar palsy. It begins with migraine with aura in approximately one-third of patients. The pathological hallmark of angiopathy is the presence of characteristic granular osmiophilic material (GOM) within the basal lamina of smooth muscle cells. The defective gene in CADASIL is Notch3, which encodes a large transmembrane receptor, and 70% of missense mutations are in exons 3 and 4. Each gene defect leads to either a gain or loss of a cysteine residue in the extracellular N-terminal domain of the molecule. We report the case of a 53-year-old woman admitted to the hospital for transient ischemic attack and stroke-like episodes recurrent since age 43 years. The patient had pseudobulbar palsy, pyramidal signs, and cognitive impairment but not frank dementia. Cerebral MRI showed periventricular diffuse and confluent ischemic lesions. Ultrastructural study revealed an abnormal deposition of granular osmiophilic material (GOM) within the basal lamina in skin capillaries. Direct sequence analysis of the Notch3 gene was performed. Since no mutation was detected in exons 3 and 4, the remaining exons were sequenced and a missense mutation, CGC-TGC in codon 1006 of exon 19 was found. The mutation led to a gain of a cysteine residue. This is the first missense mutation in codon 1006 of exon 19 of the Notch3 gene to be described in Italy and the second reported in the literature.
- Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy
- Notch3 gene
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology