The attenuated end of the phenotypic spectrum in MPS III: from late-onset stable cognitive impairment to a non-neuronopathic phenotype

Stephanie C M Nijmeijer, L Ingeborgh van den Born, Anneke J A Kievit, Karolina M Stepien, Janneke Langendonk, Jan Pieter Marchal, Susanne Roosing, Frits A Wijburg, Margreet A E M Wagenmakers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The phenotypic spectrum of many rare disorders is much wider than previously considered. Mucopolysaccharidosis type III (Sanfilippo syndrome, MPS III), is a lysosomal storage disorder traditionally considered to be characterized by childhood onset, progressive neurocognitive deterioration with a rapidly or slowly progressing phenotype. The presented MPS III case series demonstrates adult onset phenotypes with mild cognitive impairment or non-neuronopathic phenotypes.

METHODS: In this case series all adult MPS III patients with a mild- or non-neuronopathic phenotype, who attend the outpatient clinic of 3 expert centers for lysosomal storage disorders were included. A mild- or non-neuronopathic phenotype was defined as having completed regular secondary education and attaining a level of independency during adulthood, involving either independent living or a paid job.

RESULTS: Twelve patients from six families, with a median age at diagnosis of 43 years (range 3-68) were included (11 MPS IIIA, 1 MPS IIIB). In the four index patients symptoms which led to diagnostic studies (whole exome sequencing and metabolomics) resulting in the diagnosis of MPS III; two patients presented with retinal dystrophy, one with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and one with neurocognitive decline. The other eight patients were diagnosed by family screening. At a median age of 47 years (range 19-74) 9 out of the 12 patients had normal cognitive functions. Nine patients had retinal dystrophy and 8 patients hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

CONCLUSION: We show the very mild end of the phenotypic spectrum of MPS III, ranging from late-onset stable neurocognitive impairment to a fully non-neuronopathic phenotype. Awareness of this phenotype could lead to timely diagnosis and genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019


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