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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sabine Specht,
Professor Volker StraubORCiD
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© 2021 Elsevier B.V.The differential diagnosis of genetic muscle disease has become increasingly difficult due to the rapid progress in genetic medicine in recent years. Where classifications based on the clinical picture were attributed to one gene only a few years ago, today we know that a variety of clinical presentations can result from the same mutation and, conversely, various genes are associated with a similar phenotype. A significant consideration in assessing a patient with muscle weakness is the presence or absence of intellectual disability, thus narrowing the differential diagnostic approach in any child with an as yet undiagnosed muscle disease. Intellectual disability in neuromuscular diseases is often associated with behavioural disorders and may be correlated with abnormal brain imaging. Conversely, brain involvement can sometimes be seen without intellectual disability, but may be associated with an epilepsy risk and is helpful for the differential diagnosis. This review focuses on the three most common causes of paediatric muscle diseases with intellectual disability, dystrophinopathies, myotonic dystrophy type 1 and dystroglycanopathies. It also summarises differential diagnostic considerations when assessing a child with a genetic muscle disease and intellectual disability. The recent scientific literature on this topic is reviewed, the frequency of intellectual disability assessed, and specific clinical features are described. Where available, data on disease onset, progression and serum creatine kinase levels are presented and the pattern of muscle involvement described in an algorithm. Central nervous involvement and brain imaging analysis was reviewed and included.
Author(s): Specht S, Straub V
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Neuromuscular Disorders
Print publication date: 01/10/2021
Online publication date: 01/10/2021
Acceptance date: 27/08/2021
ISSN (print): 0960-8966
ISSN (electronic): 1873-2364
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd