Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and multiple sclerosis: a case report

Rosa Iodice 1, Lorenzo Ugga 2, Francesco Aruta 1, Aniello Iovino 1, Lucia Ruggiero 1

1 Department of Neurosciences, Odontostomatology and Reproductive Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples, Italy; 2 Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, National Council of Research, Naples, Italy

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy 1 (FSHD1) is an autosomal dominant neuromuscular disorder, associated with reduction of tandemly arrayed repetitive DNA elements D4Z4 (DRA), at 4q35. Few cases, especially carriers of 1-3 DRA show a syndromic form. Anecdotally the association of FSHD with multiple sclerosis (MS) is reported. Herein we report a 33 years old Caucasian with a molecular diagnosis of FSHD1 with classical phenotype (clinical category A2) and concomitant white matter lesions suggestive of MS. White matter lesions in patients with FSHD have often been described but rarely investigated in order to evaluate a possible diagnosis of MS. We think that MS and FSHD remain clearly distinct diseases, but growing evidences show a widespread and variable activation of the immune system in patients suffering from FSHD probably an hypotheses on a potential common pathogenetic mechanism between these two disorders could should be better investigated.

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