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The Natural History of Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (NH-US)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00639132
Recruitment Status : Active, not recruiting
First Posted : March 19, 2008
Last Update Posted : June 6, 2022
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jerry Vockley, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Brief Summary:
There have not been longitudinal studies which track patients' neurologically or developmentally in a systematic manner. By simultaneously tracking patients' neurodevelopment along with neuroimaging and neurophysiologic studies it becomes much easier to draw conclusions on the differential effects of the disease process and any available treatments that patients might receive. In addition, many of the gene mutations, which cause MLD have not been linked to the age of onset or the expected disease course.

Condition or disease
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy

Detailed Description:

Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), an autosomal recessively inherited lysosomal storage disorder, causes a deficiency of arylsulfatase A. This results in accumulation of sulfated glycolipids (sulphatide) within lysosomes of myelin forming cells in the central and peripheral nervous system and to a lesser extent in lysosomes of cells comprising the liver, kidneys, and gallbladder. The disease is characterized by progressive demyelination with wide variability in clinical onset and severity. Depending upon the age at onset and disease progression, MLD may be classified as late infantile (6 months to 4 years), early juvenile (4 to 6 years), late juvenile (6 to 16 years), and adult (>16 years). In the late infantile and early juvenile forms, blindness, gait disturbances, loss of speech, loss of hearing, and quadriparesis are common signs. In older children and adults the disease may present with gait disturbances, mental regression, and behavioral abnormalities. Disease progression, also variable, results in death within a few years to several decades; however, disease progression among affected siblings seems to follow a similar course, unlike many other leukodystrophies.

Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been the only partially effective treatment reported for MLD. BMT has been shown to halt disease progression when asymptomatic patients achieve engraftment prior to the age at which symptoms occurred in an affected, symptomatic sibling. Despite stabilization of the clinical course when receiving BMT before symptoms, patients' neurophysiologic test abnormalities persist. The clinical implication of this finding has not been further researched. Patients who show mild to moderate progression of their disease prior to transplantation continue to exhibit disease progression to severe impairment. However, specific degrees of clinical impairment in neurodevelopmental function have not been monitored to determine what level of cognitive and motor impairment can be present and still allow the patient to confer benefits from treatment. Patients with late infantile MLD appear to benefit the least from the transplantation process based on preliminary unpublished data. Several case report studies for patients with late infantile MLD indicate delayed, but continued progression of the disease despite BMT, while others suggest initial deterioration followed by stabilization.

Transplantation with allogenic hematopoietic stem cells has been shown to positively influence the disease progression of other lysosomal storage diseases such as Hurler Syndrome and Krabbe Disease and testing for enzyme replacement for MLD is already underway. For future researchers to be able compare the benefits of children with MLD who receive treatment to those who remained untreated, a better understanding of the natural progression of late infantile MLD is necessary. The current literature contains studies of individual or small groups of MLD patients that tracked intelligence quotients and neurophysiologic function, but did not correlate this with patients' neurodevelopment. A longitudinal study of a larger population of patients with late infantile MLD has yet to be performed. This protocol is a longitudinal observational study to capture natural history data in patients with late infantile MLD. This data will provide baseline neurobehavioral, neuroimaging, and neurophysiological information that can in the future be used to evaluate treatment effects.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 10 participants
Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Natural History of Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
Study Start Date : January 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date : January 2030
Estimated Study Completion Date : January 2030

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Results of cognitive and motor testing [ Time Frame: baseline, 6 months, 12 months and then yearly ]
    Patients receive standardized neurodevelopmental testing Cognitive Motor Language

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Audiology [ Time Frame: baseline, 6, 12, then yearly ]
    Audiologic examination

  2. MRI [ Time Frame: yearly ]
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
blood, CSF and urine

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 6 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients with biochemical evidence of MLD including low levels of arylsulphatase A white cell activity and increased amounts of urinary sulphatide excretion are eligible for the study. A total of 10 patients representing various ranges of disease severity are expected to enroll.

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. The patient must have a confirmed diagnosis of MLD as defined by:

    ASA activity < 10 nmol/h/mg in leukocytes

    Presence of elevated sulfatide in urine

  2. The patient must have voluntary function (as judged by the investigator), including cognitive and motor function that is no more than 3 standard deviations below normal at the time of enrollment.
  3. The patient must have an age at the time of screening birth to < 6 years
  4. The patient must have had onset of symptoms before the age of 4 years
  5. The subject and his/her guardian(s) must have the ability to comply with the clinical protocol

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Known multiple sulfatase deficiency
  2. Presence of major congenital abnormality
  3. Presence of known chromosomal abnormality and other neurological conditions unrelated to MLD that can affect psychomotor development
  4. History of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  5. Presence of known clinically significant cardiovascular, hepatic, pulmonary or renal disease or other medical condition
  6. Any other medical condition or serious intercurrent illness, or extenuating circumstance that, in the opinion of the principal investigator, would preclude participation in the trial
  7. Use of any investigational product within 30 days prior to study enrollment or currently enrolled in another study which involves clinical investigations.
  8. The patient's parent(s) and/or legal guardian is unable to understand the nature, scope, and possible consequences of the study.
  9. Patient is unable to comply with the protocol, i.e. inability to return for follow-up evaluations or otherwise unlikely to complete the study as determined by the principal investigator.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00639132

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United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
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Principal Investigator: Maria L Escolar, MD University of Pittsburgh, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-UPMC
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Jerry Vockley, MD, PhD, Professor, University of Pittsburgh
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00639132    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT03333200
Other Study ID Numbers: STUDY19020318
First Posted: March 19, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 6, 2022
Last Verified: June 2022
Keywords provided by Jerry Vockley, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh:
Natural History
Metachromatic Leukodystrophy
Disease Progression
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Leukodystrophy, Metachromatic
Hereditary Central Nervous System Demyelinating Diseases
Brain Diseases, Metabolic, Inborn
Brain Diseases, Metabolic
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Lysosomal Storage Diseases, Nervous System
Demyelinating Diseases
Metabolism, Inborn Errors
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors
Lysosomal Storage Diseases
Metabolic Diseases
Lipid Metabolism Disorders