A multinational study on motor function in early-onset FSHD

Jean K. Mah, Jia Feng, Marni B. Jacobs, Tina Duong, Kate Carroll, Katy De Valle, Cara L. Carty, Lauren P. Morgenroth, Michela Guglieri, Monique M. Ryan, Paula R. Clemens, Mathula Thangarajh, Richard Webster, Edward Smith, Anne M. Connolly, Craig M. McDonald, Peter Karachunski, Mar Tulinius, Amy Harper, Avital CnaanYi Wen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives To investigate motor function associations with age, sex, and D4Z4 repeats among participants with early-onset facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) type 1 as defined by weakness onset before 10 years of age. Methods We collected standardized motor assessments, including manual muscle testing (MMT), quantitative muscle testing, functional motor evaluations, and clinical severity scores (CSSs), at 12 Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group centers. To measure associations, we used linear regression models adjusted for sex, evaluation age, age at onset of weakness, and D4Z4 repeats. Results Among 52 participants (60% female, mean age 22.9 ± 14.7 years), weakness was most pronounced in the shoulder and abdominal musculature. Older enrollment age was associated with greater CSSs (p = 0.003). When adjusted for enrollment age, sex, and D4Z4 repeats, younger age at onset of facial weakness was associated with greater CSSs, slower velocities in timed function tests, and lower MMT scores (p < 0.05). Conclusion Significant clinical variability was observed in early-onset FSHD. Earlier age at onset of facial weakness was associated with greater disease severity. Longitudinal assessments are needed to determine the rate of disease progression in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1333-e1338
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018

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© 2018 American Academy of Neurology.


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