CAPN1-associated hereditary spastic paraplegia (SPG76) is a rare and clinically heterogenous syndrome due to loss of calpain-1 function. Here we illustrate a translational approach to the case of an 18-year-old patient who first presented with psychiatric symptoms followed by spastic gait, intention tremor, and neurogenic bladder dysfunction, consistent with a complex form of HSP. Exome sequencing showed compound-heterozygous missense variants in CAPN1 (NM_001198868.2: c.1712A>G (p.Asn571Ser)/c.1991C>T (p.Ser664Leu)) and a previously reported heterozygous stop-gain variant in RCL1. In silico analyses of the CAPN1 variants predicted a deleterious effect and in vitro functional studies confirmed reduced calpain-1 activity and dysregulated downstream signaling. These findings support a diagnosis of SPG76 and highlight that the psychiatric symptoms can precede the motor symptoms in HSP. Our results also suggest that multiple genes can potentially contribute to complex neuropsychiatric diseases.
© 2022 The Authors. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Neurological Association.