Cognitive, medical, and neuroimaging characteristics of attenuated mucopolysaccharidosis type II

Mol Genet Metab. 2015 Feb;114(2):170-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2014.12.299. Epub 2014 Dec 9.


The phenotype of attenuated mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II), also called Hunter syndrome, has not been previously studied in systematic manner. In contrast to the "severe" phenotype, the "attenuated" phenotype does not present with behavioral or cognitive impairment; however, the presence of mild behavior and cognitive impairment that might impact long-term functional outcomes is unknown. Previously, significant MRI abnormalities have been found in MPS II. Recent evidence suggests white matter abnormalities in many MPS disorders.

Methods: As the initial cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal study, we studied the association of brain volumes and somatic disease burden with neuropsychological outcomes, including measures of intelligence, memory, and attention in 20 patients with attenuated MPS II with a mean age of 15.8. MRI volumes were compared to 55 normal controls.

Results: While IQ and memory were average, measures of attention were one standard deviation below the average range. Corpus callosum volumes were significantly different from age-matched controls, differing by 22%. Normal age-related volume increases in white matter were not seen in MPS II patients as they were in controls. Somatic disease burden and white matter and corpus callosum volumes were significantly associated with attention deficits. Neither age at evaluation nor age at starting treatment predicted attention outcomes.

Conclusions: Despite average intelligence, attention is compromised in attenuated MPS II. Results confirm an important role of corpus callosum and cortical white matter abnormality in MPS II as well as the somatic disease burden in contributing to attention difficulties. Awareness by the patient and caregivers with appropriate management and symptomatic support will benefit the attenuated MPS II patient.

Trial registration: NCT01870375.

Keywords: Attenuated; MRI brain volumes; Mucopolysaccharidosis type II; Neuropsychological outcomes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition*
  • Corpus Callosum / pathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enzyme Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis II / pathology*
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis II / physiopathology*
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis II / psychology
  • Neuroimaging
  • Phenotype
  • White Matter / pathology
  • Young Adult

Associated data