The treatment of juvenile/adult GM1-gangliosidosis with Miglustat may reverse disease progression

Metab Brain Dis. 2017 Oct;32(5):1529-1536. doi: 10.1007/s11011-017-0044-y. Epub 2017 Jun 3.


Juvenile and adult GM1-gangliosidosis are invariably characterized by progressive neurological deterioration. To date only symptomatic therapies are available. We report for the first time the positive results of Miglustat (OGT 918, N-butyl-deoxynojirimycin) treatment on three Italian GM1-gangliosidosis patients. The first two patients had a juvenile form (enzyme activity ≤5%, GLB1 genotype p.R201H/c.1068 + 1G > T; p.R201H/p.I51N), while the third patient had an adult form (enzyme activity about 7%, p.T329A/p.R442Q). Treatment with Miglustat at the dose of 600 mg/day was started at the age of 10, 17 and 28 years; age at last evaluation was 21, 20 and 38 respectively. Response to treatment was evaluated using neurological examinations in all three patients every 4-6 months, the assessment of Movement Disorder-Childhood Rating Scale (MD-CRS) in the second patient, and the 6-Minute Walking Test (6-MWT) in the third patient. The baseline neurological status was severely impaired, with loss of autonomous ambulation and speech in the first two patients, and gait and language difficulties in the third patient. All three patients showed gradual improvement while being treated; both juvenile patients regained the ability to walk without assistance for few meters, and increased alertness and vocalization. The MD-CRS class score in the second patient decreased from 4 to 2. The third patient improved in movement and speech control, the distance covered during the 6-MWT increased from 338 to 475 m. These results suggest that Miglustat may help slow down or reverse the disease progression in juvenile/adult GM1-gangliosidosis.

Keywords: GM1-gangliosidosis; Miglustat; NB-DNJ; Substrate reduction therapy.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin / analogs & derivatives*
  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gait
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / drug therapy*
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / genetics
  • Gangliosidosis, GM1 / psychology
  • Genotype
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / drug therapy
  • Language Disorders / psychology
  • Motor Skills
  • Movement Disorders / drug therapy
  • Movement Disorders / psychology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • 1-Deoxynojirimycin
  • miglustat
  • GLB1 protein, human
  • beta-Galactosidase