Mutations in the SIGMAR1 gene cause a distal hereditary motor neuropathy phenotype mimicking ALS: Report of two novel variants


Ma MT, et al. Neuromuscul Disord 2020.


Distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN) is an inherited neuromuscular disease characterized by symmetric distal weakness and atrophy without sensory changes. There are about thirty known genes associated with dHMN, but together they explain only about a third of cases. Mutations in the sigma non-opioid intracellular receptor 1 gene (SIGMAR1) has been linked to autosomal recessive dHMN with pyramidal signs in several families. This phenotype can mimic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We

report a 39-year-old man who was referred to our ALS clinic with distal motor weakness and hyperreflexia. Whole exome sequencing identified two novel variants in the SIGMAR1 gene in the proband. Targeted Sanger sequencing of asymptomatic family members confirmed that each carried one of these two variants. Our findings expand the number of known SIGMAR1 pathogenic variants associated with dHMN, which should be clinically distinguished from ALS.