Rare autosomal dominant POLG1 mutation in a family with metabolic strokes, posterior column spinal degeneration, and multi-endocrine disease.


DNA POLG is the only mitochondrial DNA polymerase and is encoded by nuclear DNA. Depending on the location and inheritance, mutations in POLG1, the catalytic subunit, can cause symptoms including severe infantile epilepsy, metabolic strokes, chronic ataxia, neuropathy, and ophthalmoplegia. We reviewed medical records and conducted extensive interviews with the family of identical twin probands with a mutation in the linker region of DNA polymerase gamma 1 (POLG1) (G517V) and discuss postmortem findings from their grandmother. Both twins developed type I diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, and psychiatric problems in addition to neurological difficulties including bilateral basal ganglia infarcts, headaches, and seizures. The maternal grandmother, now deceased, had psychosis and balance problems, and postmortem findings include lacunar infarcts in the basal ganglia (caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus) and posterior spinal column degeneration. We discuss novel aspects of their presentation and implications for practice.




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