Progression of GNE Myopathy Based on the Patient-Reported Outcome

Young Eun Park, Dae Seong Kim, Young Chul Choi, Jin Hong Shin
Journal of Clinical Neurology 2019, 15 (3): 275-284

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: GNE myopathy is a rare progressive myopathy caused by biallelic mutations in the GNE gene, and frequently accompanied by rimmed vacuoles in muscle pathology. The initial symptom of foot drop or hip-girdle weakness eventually spreads to all limbs over a period of decades. Recent advances in pathophysiologic research have facilitated therapeutic trials aimed at resolving the core biochemical defect. However, there remains unsettled heterogeneity in its natural course, which confounds the analysis of therapeutic outcomes. We performed the first large-scale study of Korean patients with GNE myopathy.

METHODS: We gathered the genetic and clinical profiles of 44 Korean patients with genetically confirmed GNE myopathy. The clinical progression was estimated retrospectively based on a patient-reported questionnaire on the status of the functional joint sets and daily activities.

RESULTS: The wrist and neck were the last joints to lose antigravity functionality irrespective of whether the weakness started from the ankle or hip. Two-thirds of the patients could walk either independently or with an aid. The order of losing daily activities could be sorted from standing to eating. Patients with limb-girdle phenotype showed an earlier age at onset than those with foot-drop onset. Patients with biallelic kinase domain mutations tended to progress more rapidly than those with epimerase and kinase domain mutations.

CONCLUSIONS: The reported data can guide the clinical management of GNE myopathy, as well as provide perspective to help the development of clinical trials.

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