Beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration (BPAN), a rare form of NBIA: novel mutations and neuropsychiatric phenotype in three adult patients

Willem M A Verhoeven, Jos I M Egger, David A Koolen, Helger Yntema, Simone Olgiati, Guido J Breedveld, Vincenzo Bonifati, Bart P C van de Warrenburg
Parkinsonism & related Disorders 2014, 20 (3): 332-6
Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) comprises a group of rare neuropsychiatric syndromes characterized by iron accumulation in the basal ganglia. The pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) was the first NBIA form to be genetically identified almost 15 years ago. Nowadays, eight types can be genetically distinguished. More recently, a novel NBIA was delineated and termed Static Encephalopathy of childhood with Neurodegeneration in Adulthood (SENDA), characterized by early intellectual disability followed by delayed progressive motor and cognitive deterioration with an onset in the second to third decade. Very recently, mutations in the WD repeat-containing protein 45 (WDR45) gene located on Xp11.23 were shown to be the causal factor. The protein encoded by WDR45 propels protein interaction important for autophagy. This form was therefore retermed Beta-propeller Protein Associated Neurodegeneration (BPAN). Here, the first three Dutch patients with genetically proven BPAN are comprehensively described with respect to course and neurological as well as neuropsychiatric phenotypes. All three showed a characteristic delayed progression of neurological symptoms with parkinsonism and prominent dystonia. Treatment with levodopa/carbidopa had limited effects only. Neuropsychiatric symptoms within the autistic and affective spectrum were present in the early phase of the disease. The specific course and prognosis should implicate restrained psychopharmacological interventions. The clinical picture and imaging hallmarks are often highly suggestive and should lead to suspect this specific disorder. However, the identification of a WDR45 mutation is needed for a definite diagnosis of BPAN.

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