Progression of myelopathy in males with adrenoleukodystrophy: Towards clinical trial readiness

Irene C. Huffnagel, Wouter J. C. van Ballegoij, Björn M. van Geel, Johanna M. B. W. Vos, Stephan Kemp, Marc Engelen

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Males with adrenoleukodystrophy develop progressive myelopathy causing severe disability later in life. No treatment is currently available, but new disease-modifying therapies are under development. Knowledge of the natural history of the myelopathy is of paramount importance for evaluation of these therapies in clinical trials, but prospective data on disease progression are lacking. We performed a prospective observational cohort study to quantify disease progression over 2 years of follow-up. Signs and symptoms, functional outcome measures and patient-reported outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1 and 2 years of follow-up. We included 46 male adrenoleukodystrophy patients (median age 45.5 years, range 16-71). Frequency of myelopathy at baseline increased with age from 30.8% (<30 years) to 94.7% (>50 years). Disease progression was measured in the patients who were symptomatic at baseline (n = 24) or became symptomatic during follow-up (n = 1). Significant progression was detected with the functional outcome measures and quantitative vibration measurements. Over 2 years of follow-up, Expanded Disability Status Score increased by 0.34 points (P = 0.034), Severity Scoring system for Progressive Myelopathy decreased by 2.78 points (P = 0.013), timed up-and-go increased by 0.82 s (P = 0.032) and quantitative vibration measurement at the hallux decreased by 0.57 points (P = 0.040). Changes over 1-year follow-up were not significant, except for the 6-minute walk test that decreased by 19.67 meters over 1 year (P = 0.019). None of the patient-reported outcomes were able to detect disease progression. Our data show that progression of myelopathy in adrenoleukodystrophy can be quantified using practical and clinically relevant outcome measures. These results will help in the design of clinical trials and the development of new biomarkers for the myelopathy of adrenoleukodystrophy. 10.1093/brain/awy299-video1 awy299media1 5995811923001
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-343
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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