Background and purpose: The term hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) covers a spectrum of genetically heterogeneous disorders in which lower limb spasticity is the common clinical feature. Many patients with childhood-onset HSP are mistakenly diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). Methods: A group of as yet molecularly undiagnosed HSP patients were analyzed using SpastoPlex, a customized target re-sequencing panel able to investigate the coding regions of 72 genes linked to HSP, spastic ataxias or related motor diseases. Results: Our investigations identified loss-of-function mutations in AP4S1/SPG52 in four children (three families) who had previously received a diagnosis of diplegic/quadriplegic CP. The patients presented spastic paraparesis, mild facial dysmorphisms, moderate-to-severe intellectual disability and severe speech delay. Two patients manifested febrile seizures and childhood-onset focal seizures. In all the patients, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a peculiar hypoplastic posterior corpus callosum, often associated with ventriculomegaly, white matter loss and cerebral atrophy. Conclusion: Adaptor protein 4 (AP-4) deficiency disorders should be suspected in children with spastic paraparesis, cognitive deficit and absent speech accompanied by suggestive MRI features. Seizures might be amongst the clinical manifestations of the syndrome.
- cerebral palsy
- hereditary spastic paraparesis
- next generation sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology