Probable Diagnosis of a Patient with Niemann–Pick Disease Type C: Managing Pitfalls of Exome Sequencing
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Here, we present a case of a 31-year-old man with progressive cognitive decline, ataxia, and dystonia. Extensive laboratory, radiographic, and targeted genetic studies over the course of several years failed to yield a diagnosis. Initial whole exome sequencing through a commercial laboratory identified several variants of uncertain significance; however, follow-up clinical examination and testing ruled each of these out. Eventually, repeat whole exome sequencing identified a known pathogenic intronic variant in the NPC1 gene (NM_000271.4, c.1554-1009G>A) and an additional heterozygous exonic variant of uncertain significance in the NPC1 gene (NM_000271.4, c.2524T>C). Follow-up biochemical testing was consistent with a diagnosis of probable Niemann–Pick disease Type C (NP-C). This case illustrates the potential of whole exome sequencing for diagnosing rare complex neurologic diseases. It also identifies several potential common pitfalls that must be navigated by clinicians when interpreting commercial whole exome sequencing results.
KeywordsAtaxia Dementia Dystonia Metabolic disease Neurodegeneration Niemann–Pick type C Whole exome sequencing
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