Clinical and molecular characterization of adult patients with late-onset MTHFR deficiency
SourceJournal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, 44, 3, (2021), pp. 777-786
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
SubjectRadboudumc 6: Metabolic Disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency usually presents as a severe neonatal disease. This study aimed to characterize natural history, biological and molecular data, and response to treatment of patients with late-onset MTHFR deficiency. The patients were identified through the European Network and Registry for Homocystinuria and Methylation Defects and the Adult group of the French Society for Inherited Metabolic Diseases; data were retrospectively colleted. To identify juvenile to adult-onset forms of the disease, we included patients with a diagnosis established after the age of 10 years. We included 14 patients (median age at diagnosis: 32 years; range: 11-54). At onset (median age: 20 years; range 9-38), they presented with walking difficulties (n = 8), cognitive decline (n = 3) and/or seizures (n = 3), sometimes associated with mild mental retardation (n = 6). During the disease course, symptoms were almost exclusively neurological with cognitive dysfunction (93%), gait disorders (86%), epilepsy (71%), psychiatric symptoms (57%), polyneuropathy (43%), and visual deficit (43%). Mean diagnostic delay was 14 years. Vascular events were observed in 28% and obesity in 36% of the patients. One patient remained asymptomatic at the age of 55 years. Upon treatment, median total homocysteine decreased (from 183 μmol/L, range 69-266, to 90 μmol/L, range 20-142) and symptoms improved (n = 9) or stabilized (n = 4). Missense pathogenic variants in the C-terminal regulatory domain of the protein were over-represented compared to early-onset cases. Residual MTHFR enzymatic activity in skin fibroblasts (n = 4) was rather high (17%-58%). This series of patients with late-onset MTHFR deficiency underlines the still unmet need of a prompt diagnosis of this treatable disease.
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