ASSOCIATION BETWEEN LOSS OF Dp140 AND COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN DUCHENNE AND BECKER DYSTROPHIES
Chamova T1,*, Guergueltcheva V1, Raycheva M1, Todorov T2,3, Genova J2, Bichev S4, Bojinova V5, Mitev V3, Tournev I1,6, Todorova A2,3
*Corresponding Author: Teodora Chamova, M.D., Ph.D., Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital “Alexandrovska”, 1 Georgi Sofiiski str., Sofia 1431, Bulgaria; Tel.: +359-889802252; Fax: +359-2-9526787; E-mail: teodoratch@abv.bg
page: 21
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Abstract

The presence of variable degrees of non progressive cognitive impairment is recognized as a clinical feature of patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies (DMD and BMD), but its pathogenesis still remains a matter of debate. A number of findings have proved that rearrangements located in the second part of the dystrophin (DMD) gene seem to be preferentially associated with cognitive impairment. Dp140 is a distal dystrophin isoform, mainly expressed during fetal brain development, whose role for neuropsychological functioning was suggested. The aims of the current study were to explore the possible association between cognitive impairment and DNA mutations affecting the regulatory regions of Dp140, as well as to compare the neuropsychological functioning of patients affected with DMD and Intermediate muscular dystrophy (IMD) with those affected by Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). Fiftythree patients genetically diagnosed with DMD, IMD and BMD, subdivided according to sites of mutations along the DMD gene, underwent a neuropsychological assessment, evaluating their general cognitive abilities, verbal memory, attention and executive functions. Twenty patients with mutations, terminating in exon 44 or starting at exon 45 were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of microsatellites STR44, SK12, SK21 and P20 DXS269, in order to evaluate the integrity of the Dp140 promoter region. According to our statistical results, there was not a significant difference in terms of general intelligence between the allelic forms of the disease, a higher frequency of mental retardation was observed in DMD patients. The patients with BMD had better results on tests, measuring long-term verbal learning memory and executive functions. We found that patients lacking Dp140 performed more poorly on all neuropsychological tests compared to those with preserved Dp140. Overall, our findings suggest that the loss of Dp140 is associated with a higher risk of intellectual impairment among patients with dystrophinopathies and highlights the possible role of this distal isoform in normal cognitive development.



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