What Can We Learn from the Parents of Children Affected with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type III-A in Israel?

Mol Syndromol. 2022 Feb;13(1):45-49. doi: 10.1159/000519099. Epub 2021 Dec 15.


Sanfilippo Syndrome, or mucopolysaccharidosis type III (MPS III), is a group of autosomal-recessive lysosomal storage disorders leading to tissue accumulation of heparan sulfate. MPS III is caused by deficiency in one of 4 enzymes involved in lysosomal degradation of heparan sulfate. Based on the relevant enzyme deficiency, 4 types have been recognized. MPS III constitutes a progressive neurodegenerative and systemic disorder. Parents of children diagnosed with MPS III were interviewed using a retrospective questionnaire based on the known clinical manifestations of MPS III. Eight patients from 4 unrelated families of varied ethnic origin were included. All children were diagnosed with MPS type III-A. Average age at diagnosis was 6.1 years. The most common early clinical manifestations leading to parental suspicion of illness were speech delay and coarse facial features. All children were reported to have global developmental delay, sleep disorders, recurrent infections, hyperactivity, and decreased hearing. The time from first medical inquiry until diagnosis was over 2 years on average, consistent with the delay in diagnosis described in the literature. MPS III children frequently undergo early and repeated ear, nose and throat surgeries, thus we suggest that a high index of suspicion is warranted in relevant clinical circumstances.

Keywords: Lysosomal storage disease; Mucopolysaccharidosis type III; Natural history; Parental experience; Sanfilippo syndrome.