Cobblestone-like brain dysgenesis and altered glycosylation in congenital cutis laxa, Debre type

Neurology. 2008 Nov 11;71(20):1602-8. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000327822.52212.c7. Epub 2008 Aug 20.


Objective: To delineate a new syndrome of brain dysgenesis and cutis laxa based on the description of 11 patients belonging to nine unrelated families recruited through an international collaboration effort.

Methods: Careful clinical assessment of patients from birth to the age of 23 years with follow-up studies ranging from 3 to 20 years. Biochemical studies of serum proteins glycosylation by isoelectric focusing and capillary zone electrophoresis were performed in 10 patients. Brain MRI studies using conventional methods were analyzed in eight patients.

Results: An expanded clinical spectrum of a syndrome comprising facial dysmorphia (enlarged anterior fontanelles, downward slant of palpebral fissures, prominent root of the nose), a connective tissue disorder (inguinal hernia, hip dislocation, high myopia), and neurologic impairment was defined. Early developmental delay was followed by onset of generalized seizures by the end of the first decade and a subsequent neurodegenerative course. A defect of N- or N- plus O-glycosylation of serum transferrins and ApoCIII was observed in 10 patients. An unusual cobblestone-like cortical malformation over the frontal and parietal regions was seen in eight patients and cerebellar abnormalities, including two patients with Dandy-Walker malformation, were observed in three patients.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that autosomal recessive cutis laxa, Debré type, initially considered a dermatologic syndrome, is a multisystemic disorder with cobblestone-like brain dysgenesis manifesting as developmental delay and an epileptic neurodegenerative syndrome. It might represent a metabolic cause of Dandy-Walker malformation. It is associated with a deficient N- and-O glycosylation of proteins and shares many similarities with muscle-eye-brain syndromes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Abnormalities / blood
  • Congenital Abnormalities / genetics
  • Congenital Abnormalities / pathology
  • Cutis Laxa* / blood
  • Cutis Laxa* / genetics
  • Cutis Laxa* / pathology
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome* / blood
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome* / genetics
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome* / pathology
  • Electrophoresis, Capillary / methods
  • Female
  • Glycosylation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Isoelectric Focusing / methods
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Young Adult