Single-center experience with Beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration (BPAN); expanding the phenotypic spectrum

Marisa Chard, Juan Pablo Appendino, Luis E Bello-Espinosa, Colleen Curtis, Jong M Rho, Xing-Chang Wei, Walla Al-Hertani
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports 2019, 20: 100483
Beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration (BPAN) is a subtype of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) that presents with childhood developmental delay (especially speech delay), occasionally associated with epileptic encephalopathy, autism, or Rett-like syndrome. The majority of children described to date have been severely affected, with little to no expressive speech function, severe developmental delay, and cognitive impairment. Herein, five additional patients with BPAN identified in the same center in Canada are described, four with the typical severe phenotype and one with a milder phenotype. Our findings provide further evidence that a spectrum of severity exists for this rare and newly described condition. Challenges in identifying iron accumulation on brain MRI are also addressed. Additionally, the importance of including the WDR45 gene on epilepsy and Rett-like syndrome genetic panels is highlighted.

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