Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2023;12(3):198-201. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2023.01051)

Re-survey of 16 Japanese patients with advanced-stage hereditary motor sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement (HMSN-P): Painful muscle cramps for early diagnosis

Shoji H, Sakamoto R, Saito C, Akino K, Taniguchi M


Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement (HMSN-P) is an intractable neurological disease with autosomal dominant inheritance, four-limb weakness, sensory impairment, and a slowly progressive course. HMSN-P patients develop four-limb paralysis at the advanced-stage, as in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). There is a natural 20- to 30-year course from initial painful muscle cramps and four-limb paralysis to respiratory dysfunction. A delay in the diagnosis of HMSN-P occurs due to the 20- to 30-year span from the initial symptom(s) to typical quadriplegia. Its early diagnosis is important, but the involvement of painful muscle cramps as an early symptom has not been clear. Following our earlier survey, we conducted a re-survey focusing on painful muscle cramps, assistive-device use, and hope for specific therapies in 16 Japanese patients with advanced-stage HMSN-P. Fifteen patients presented painful muscle cramps as the initial symptom, and muscle cramps in the lower abdomen including the flank were described by 10 of the patients. The presence of painful muscle cramps including those in the abdominal region may be a clue for the early diagnosis of HMSN-P. Painful abdominal cramps have not described in related diseases, e.g., ALS, spinal muscular atrophy, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Recent patient-welfare improvements and advances in assistive devices including robot-suit assistive limbs are delaying the terminal state of HMSN-P. Regarding specific therapies for HMSN-P, many patients choose both nucleic acid medicine and the application of induced pluripotent stem cells as a specific therapy for HMSN-P.

KEYWORDS: painful muscle cramp, abdominal cramp, hereditary motor sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement, HMSN-P, nucleic acid medicine, induced pluripotent stem cell

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