Spectrum of brain changes in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and FKRP gene mutations

Arch Neurol. 2006 Feb;63(2):251-7. doi: 10.1001/archneur.63.2.251.


Objectives: To report the spectrum of brain magnetic resonance imaging findings in 13 patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and FKRP gene mutations and to explore possible genotype-phenotype correlations.

Design: We retrospectively reviewed brain magnetic resonance imaging in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and FKRP gene mutations.

Patients: Thirteen patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and mutations in the FKRP gene.

Results: Five of the 13 patients had the typical phenotype originally described for congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1C) with normal intelligence and normal brain magnetic resonance imaging while 3 other patients had isolated cerebellar cysts and mental retardation without any other sign of posterior fossa of supratentorial abnormalities. In the remaining 5 patients cerebellar cysts were associated with structural brain changes involving the posterior fossa and the cortex, ranging from focal unilateral periventricular nodular heterotopia to marked cerebellar dysplasia and pontine hypoplasia. In 2 of these 5 patients the severity and distribution of changes resembled muscle-eye-brain disease in 1 patient who had mild Walker-Warburg syndrome. The distribution of FKRP gene mutations identified in this group of patients did not reveal any obvious association with the severity of central nervous system involvement.

Conclusions: The severity of central nervous system involvement observed in our patients in contrast broadly reflected the severity of the disruption of alpha-dystroglycan glycosylation. In particular, dystroglycan expression was almost absent in the patients with muscle-eye-brain diseaselike phenotype and less severely reduced in the patients with congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1C) with or without cerebellar cysts. This study further highlights the central role that dystroglycan has in neuronal migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intelligence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophies / congenital*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophies / pathology*
  • Pentosyltransferases
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Proteins
  • FKRP protein, human
  • Pentosyltransferases