Patterns of neurological manifestations in Woodhouse-Sakati Syndrome

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2019 Dec:69:99-103. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.10.007. Epub 2019 Oct 13.


Background: Woodhouse-Sakati syndrome (WSS) is a rare autosomal recessive disease with characteristic neuro-endocrine manifestations. WSS encompasses heterogeneous phenotypes and disease course.

Objective: We aimed to characterize neurological involvement of the disease through subgrouping of core neurological manifestations.

Methods: A single-institution retrospective analysis of patients with clinically and genetically confirmed diagnosis of WSS.

Results: A total of 38 individuals belonging to 17 families were identified to have WSS. The mean age at enrollment was 30.1 years (range 16-53 years). Neurological involvement was noted in 31 patients (81.5%). Dystonia was the most common neurological manifestation (67%), followed by intellectual disability (45%) and sensorineural hearing loss (30%). Based on the Neurological Impairment Scale (NIS), the disease was recognized to have two distinct patterns. A disabling, rapidly progressive pattern (NIS of 3-4; Type 1) was noted in eighteen patients (12 males, 6 females; 47.4%) with severe disability that occurs within a mean duration of 7.4 ± 3.6 years. Type 2 WSS was identified in twenty patients (8 males, 12 females; 52.6%), and showed either absent or mild neurological involvement with preserved activities of daily living (NIS of 0-1). The mean age of onset for neurological manifestations was earlier in type 1 (12.6 ± 4.5 years) compared to type 2 (18.1 ± 4.3 years). Type 1 WSS has a significantly higher rate of intellectual disability (p= <0.001).

Conclusions: In this pleiotropic syndrome, we identified two distinct phenotypes with variable prognosis. A high Interfamilial and intrafamilial phenotypic variability despite having a similar gene mutation suggests a possible role of genetic or environmental modifying factor.

Keywords: Dystonia; Hypogonadism; NBIA; Woodhouse-Sakati syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alopecia / complications*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications*
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / complications*
  • Intellectual Disability / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Woodhouse Sakati syndrome