Role of MAPT in Pure Motor Neuron Disease: Report of a Recurrent Mutation in Italian Patients

Neurodegener Dis. 2018;18(5-6):310-314. doi: 10.1159/000497820. Epub 2019 Mar 20.


The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of mutations in the MAPT gene in patients with pure amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A cohort of 120 ALS patients, both sporadic and familial, without cognitive impairment was analyzed by next-generation sequencing with a multiple-gene panel comprising 23 genes, including MAPT, known to be associated with ALS and frontotemporal dementia. The presence of the C9orf72 expansion was also investigated. Twelve patients had mutations in the SOD1, TARDBP, MATR3, and FUS genes, while 10 patients carried the C9orf72 expansion. One female patient was found to carry the D348G mutation in MAPT, previously reported in an Italian family with lower motor neuron disease. Our patient presented both upper and lower motor neuron signs, early development of dyspnea, resting and kinetic tremor, and a slow disease course (> 11 years). The present case further broadens the clinical phenotype associated with MAPT mutations and suggests that, although rarely, MAPT mutations can cause ALS and, therefore, should be analyzed in ALS patients, especially in those with early breathing difficulties and long-lasting disease.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; MAPT; Next-generation sequencing.

Publication types

  • News
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics*
  • DNA Repeat Expansion / genetics
  • Female
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • tau Proteins / genetics*


  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins