Differential diagnosis of Mendelian and mitochondrial disorders in patients with suspected multiple sclerosis

Brain : a Journal of Neurology
James D Weisfeld-AdamsFred D Lublin


Several single gene disorders share clinical and radiologic characteristics with multiple sclerosis and have the potential to be overlooked in the differential diagnostic evaluation of both adult and paediatric patients with multiple sclerosis. This group includes lysosomal storage disorders, various mitochondrial diseases, other neurometabolic disorders, and several other miscellaneous disorders. Recognition of a single-gene disorder as causal for a patient's 'multiple sclerosis-like' phenotype is critically important for accurate direction of patient management, and evokes broader genetic counselling implications for affected families. Here we review single gene disorders that have the potential to mimic multiple sclerosis, provide an overview of clinical and investigational characteristics of each disorder, and present guidelines for when clinicians should suspect an underlying heritable disorder that requires diagnostic confirmation in a patient with a definite or probable diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.


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