Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) refers to a growing heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by lysosomal accumulation of abnormal autofluorescent material. NCLs are traditionally classified clinically according to their age of onset. Variable late infantile NCL (vLINCL) is the most genetically heterogeneous subtype as it has been shown to be caused by mutations in at least six genes. We report on 5 patients of a consanguineous family who presented in early childhood with intractable seizures, severe cognitive and motor decline, behavioral impairment and progressive retinal degeneration. Disease course was severe; all patients were in a vegetative state by the second decade of life, and eventually die prematurely (except in one case). Ultrastructural studies of brain and rectal mucosa disclosed accumulation of storage material in various patterns including fingerprint, curvilinear, and granular osmiophilic deposits consistent with the diagnosis of NCL. Brain pathologic features from a living patient are first reported here and shed light on disease progression and pathogenesis. Using a combination of whole genome autozygosity mapping and candidate gene direct sequencing, we identified a mutation in MFSD8, c.472G>A (p.Gly158Ser), which was found to segregate with the disease phenotype in the family.This study underscores the importance of a combined clinic-molecular workup in NCLs and other neurodegenerative conditions.
- Autosomal recessive
- Lysosomal storage
- Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
- Retinal degeneration