Illness-associated muscle weakness in dystroglycanopathies

Courtney R. Carlson, Steven D. McGaughey, Jamie M. Eskuri, Carrie M. Stephan, M. Bridget Zimmerman, Katherine D. Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the phenomenon of acute illness-associated weakness (AIAW) in patients with dystroglycanopathy (DG), determine the frequency of this phenomenon in DGs, and compare it to the frequency in Duchenne-Becker muscular dystrophy (DBMD). Methods: Patients enrolled in a DG natural history study provided medical history, including major illnesses or hospitalizations, at enrollment and annually. We noted a recurring syndrome of profound transient weakness in the setting of febrile illness. To determine the frequency of this phenomenon in the DG cohort and compare it to a cohort with another membrane-related muscular dystrophy, DBMD, we surveyed patients (e-survey tool), collecting demographics and information about episodes of sudden progression of weakness and events surrounding the episodes. Results: Surveys were completed by 52 (56.6%) patients with DG and 51 (27.3%) patients with DBMD. AIAW was reported in 12 (23%) patients with DG and 2 (4%) patients with DBMD (odds ratio 7.35; 95% confidence interval 1.55, 34.77; p 5 0.005). Altogether (history or survey), 21 patients with DG, with mutations in FKRP, FKTN, POMT1, POMT2, or POMGNT1, reported AIAW. These events typically occurred in children,7 years old, and the preceding illness usually included respiratory symptoms. In 10 (47.6%) patients with DG, AIAW preceded the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. Conclusions: People with DG, across genotypes, can experience acute, transient weakness associated with a febrile illness, a phenomenon that rarely occurs in DBMD. The physiologic basis of this phenomenon is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2374-2380
Number of pages7
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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