Neurological and Neurosurgical Aspects of Hypophosphatasia
Hypophosphatasia is a rare hereditary progressive disease caused by a mutation in ALPL gene and characterized by low activity of alkaline phosphatase. Due to the disruption of the bone mineralization process, ricket-like deformations of the skeleton occur in the clinic picture more frequently but other systemic manifestations can be also observed as respiratory insufficiency, urinary tract damage, and neurological disorders. Seizures, delayed physical and psychomotor development, attention
... ent, attention deficit disorder, muscle weakness, fatigue, intracranial hypertension associated with the development of craniosynostosis are revealed in these patients. The severity of the disease depends on age: the highest mortality is reported in younger patients, in perinatal and infantile forms of hypophosphatasia. Diagnosis is based on the identification of specific clinical manifestations: retardation of growth and development, skeletal deformities, pain in muscles and joints, premature tooth loss. In laboratory tests, a steady decrease in alkaline phosphatase level is detected taking into account age and sex specification. If possible, alkaline phosphatase substrates are measured: levels of pyridoxal-5-phosphate in the blood and phosphoethanolamine in urine are higher at low enzyme activity. Radiographs of long bones typically reveal characteristic 'tongues' of lucency projecting from growth plates into metaphyses, hypomineralization, osteopenia, various kinds of deformation. All patients with suspected hypophosphatasia should be consulted by a clinical geneticist and evaluated to identify possible mutation in the ALPL gene.