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Nationwide survey on cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis in Japan

Abstract

Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is likely to be underdiagnosed and precise epidemiological characteristics of CTX are largely unknown as knowledge on the disorder is based mainly on case reports. We conducted a nationwide survey on CTX to elucidate the frequency, clinical picture, and molecular biological background of Japanese CTX patients. In this first Japanese nationwide survey on CTX, 2541 questionnaires were sent to clinical departments across Japan. A total of 1032 (40.6%) responses were returned completed for further analysis. Forty patients with CTX (50.0% male) were identified between September 2012 and August 2015. The mean age of onset was 24.5 ± 13.6 years, mean age at diagnosis was 41.0 ± 11.6 years, and corresponding mean duration of illness from onset to diagnosis was 16.5 ± 13.5 years. The most common initial symptom was tendon xanthoma, followed next by spastic paraplegia, cognitive dysfunction, cataract, ataxia, and epilepsy. The most predominant mutations in the CYP27A1 gene were c.1214G> A (p.R405Q, 31.6%), c.1421G> A (p.R474Q, 26.3%), and c.435G> T (p.G145=, 15.8%). Therapeutic interventions that included chenodeoxycholic acid, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, and LDL apheresis reduced serum cholestanol level in all patients and improved clinical symptoms in 40.5% of patients. Although CTX is a treatable neurodegenerative disorder, our nationwide survey revealed an average 16.5-year diagnostic delay. CTX may be underdiagnosed in Japan, especially during childhood. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to improve the prognosis of CTX.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank Y. Iwanaka, S. Ito, T. Yoshida, K. Tokuoka, H. Yuasa, M. Takata, S. Hirose, S. Togashi. H. Taniguchi, K. Ishihara, T. Hashimoto, T. Takeshima, S. Akazawa, A. Haraguchi, M. Ito, K. Takase, S. Susa, Y. Honma, H. Kaneko, Y. Touma, K. Yamamoto, Y. Harigaya, K. Tamura, I. Yokota, T. Kawazoe, S. Takagi, T. Hamada, M. Takemoto, H. Nagayama, M. Mizuno, K. Uemura, Y. Kajimoto, and O. Kano for providing clinical patient information. This study was supported by a grant from the Research Committee for Cerebrotendinous Xanthomatosis, Research on Measures against Intractable Diseases by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare and a grant from the Research Committee for Primary Hyperlipidemia, Research on Measures against Intractable Diseases by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare.

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Correspondence to Yoshiki Sekijima.

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Sekijima, Y., Koyama, S., Yoshinaga, T. et al. Nationwide survey on cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis in Japan. J Hum Genet 63, 271–280 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s10038-017-0389-4

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