The Cockayne Syndrome Natural History (CoSyNH) study: clinical findings in 102 individuals and recommendations for care

Genet Med. 2016 May;18(5):483-93. doi: 10.1038/gim.2015.110. Epub 2015 Jul 23.


Purpose: Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a rare, autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by microcephaly, impaired postnatal growth, and premature pathological aging. It has historically been considered a DNA repair disorder; fibroblasts from classic patients often exhibit impaired transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair. Previous studies have largely been restricted to case reports and small series, and no guidelines for care have been established.

Methods: One hundred two study participants were identified through a network of collaborating clinicians and the Amy and Friends CS support groups. Families with a diagnosis of CS could also self-recruit. Comprehensive clinical information for analysis was obtained directly from families and their clinicians.

Results and conclusion: We present the most complete evaluation of Cockayne syndrome to date, including detailed information on the prevalence and onset of clinical features, achievement of neurodevelopmental milestones, and patient management. We confirm that the most valuable prognostic factor in CS is the presence of early cataracts. Using this evidence, we have created simple guidelines for the care of individuals with CS. We aim to assist clinicians in the recognition, diagnosis, and management of this condition and to enable families to understand what problems they may encounter as CS progresses.Genet Med 18 5, 483-493.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cockayne Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Cockayne Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Cockayne Syndrome / genetics*
  • Cockayne Syndrome / physiopathology
  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • ERCC8 protein, human
  • Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA Helicases
  • ERCC6 protein, human
  • DNA Repair Enzymes