Screening for late-onset Pompe disease in Finland

Neuromuscul Disord. 2014 Nov;24(11):982-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2014.06.438. Epub 2014 Jun 28.


Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type II) is caused by autosomal recessive mutations in GAA gene. The estimated frequency of late-onset Pompe disease is around 1:60,000. However, only two infantile and one late-onset Pompe patients have been reported in Finland with a population of 5 million. We screened for late-onset Pompe disease in a cohort of undetermined myopathy patients with proximal muscle weakness and/or elevated serum creatine kinase values. Acid α-glucosidase (GAA) activity in dried blood spots was measured and clinical data collected in 108 patients. Four patients had low normal GAA activity; all the others had activities well within the normal range. Re-analyses of these patients did not reveal new Pompe patients. Our findings suggest that Pompe disease is extremely rare in Finland. Finland is an example of an isolated population with enrichment of certain mutations for genetic disorders and low occurrence of some autosomal recessive diseases.

Keywords: Glycogen storage disease type II; Late-onset; Pompe disease; Screening.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / blood
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / diagnosis*
  • Glycogen Storage Disease Type II / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction / genetics
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Glucosidases / blood


  • alpha-Glucosidases