Background: Neurological disorders are clinically heterogeneous group of disorders and are major causes of disability and death. Several of these disorders are caused due to genetic aberration. A precise and confirmatory diagnosis in the patients in a timely manner is essential for appropriate therapeutic and management strategies. Due to the complexity of the clinical presentations across various neurological disorders, arriving at an accurate diagnosis remains a challenge.
Methods: We sequenced 1012 unrelated patients from India with suspected neurological disorders, using TruSight One panel. Genetic variations were identified using the Strand NGS software and interpreted using the StrandOmics platform.
Results: We were able to detect mutations in 197 genes in 405 (40%) cases and 178 mutations were novel. The highest diagnostic rate was observed among patients with muscular dystrophy (64%) followed by leukodystrophy and ataxia (43%, each). In our cohort, 26% of the patients who received definitive diagnosis were primarily referred with complex neurological phenotypes with no suggestive diagnosis. In terms of mutations types, 62.8% were truncating and in addition, 13.4% were structural variants, which are also likely to cause loss of function.
Conclusion: In our study, we observed an improved performance of multi-gene panel testing, with an overall diagnostic yield of 40%. Furthermore, we show that NGS (next-generation sequencing)-based testing is comprehensive and can detect all types of variants including structural variants. It can be considered as a single-platform genetic test for neurological disorders that can provide a swift and definitive diagnosis in a cost-effective manner.
Keywords: Genetic testing; Multi-gene panel; Neurological disorders; Next-generation sequencing.