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Mengel, Eugen; Bembi, Bruno; del Toro, Mireia; Deodato, Federica; Gautschi, Matthias; Grunewald, Stephanie; Gronborg, Sabine; Heron, Benedicte; Maier, Esther M.; Roubertie, Agathe; Santra, Saikat; Tylki-Szymanska, Anna; Day, Simon; Symonds, Tara; Hudgens, Stacie; Patterson, Marc C.; Guldberg, Christina; Ingemann, Linda; Petersen, Nikolaj H. T.; Kirkegaard, Thomas and i Dali, Christine (2020): Clinical disease progression and biomarkers in Niemann-Pick disease type C: a prospective cohort study. In: Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, Vol. 15, No. 1, 328

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Background: Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disease associated with neurovisceral manifestations resulting from lysosomal dysfunction and aberrant lipid accumulation. A multicentre, prospective observational study (Clinical Trials.gov ID: NCT02435030) of individuals with genetically confirmed NPC1 or NPC2 receiving routine clinical care was conducted, to prospectively characterize and measure NPC disease progression and to investigate potential NPC-related biomarkers versus healthy individuals. Progression was measured using the abbreviated 5-domain NPC Clinical Severity Scale (NPCCSS), 17-domain NPCCSS and NPC clinical database (NPC-cdb) score. Cholesterol esterification and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) levels were assessed from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), cholestane-3 beta,5 alpha-,6 beta-triol (cholestane-triol) from serum, and unesterified cholesterol from both PBMCs and skin biopsy samples. The inter- and intra-rater reliability of the 5-domain NPCCSS was assessed by 13 expert clinicians' rating of four participants via video recordings, repeated after >= 3 weeks. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated. Results: Of the 36 individuals with NPC (2-18 years) enrolled, 31 (86.1%) completed the 6-14-month observation period;30/36 (83.3%) were receiving miglustat as part of routine clinical care. A mean (+/- SD) increase in 5-domain NPCCSS scores of 1.4 (+/- 2.9) was observed, corresponding to an annualized progression rate of 1.5. On the 17-domain NPCCSS, a mean (+/- SD) progression of 2.7 (+/- 4.0) was reported. Compared with healthy individuals, the NPC population had significantly lower levels of cholesterol esterification (p < 0.0001), HSP70 (p < 0.0001) and skin unesterified cholesterol (p = 0.0006). Cholestane-triol levels were significantly higher in individuals with NPC versus healthy individuals (p = 0.008) and correlated with the 5-domain NPCCSS (Spearman's correlation coefficient = 0.265, p = 0.0411). The 5-domain NPCCSS showed high ICC agreement in inter-rater reliability (ICC = 0.995) and intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.937). Conclusions: Progression rates observed were consistent with other reports on disease progression in NPC. The 5-domain NPCCSS reliability study supports its use as an abbreviated alternative to the 17-domain NPCCSS that focuses on the most relevant domains of the disease. The data support the use of cholestane-triol as a disease monitoring biomarker and the novel methods of measuring unesterified cholesterol could be applicable to support NPC diagnosis. Levels of HSP70 in individuals with NPC were significantly decreased compared with healthy individuals.

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