Mutations in WDR45 are responsible for beta-propeller protein-associated neurodegeneration (BPAN), which is an X-linked form of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. BPAN mainly affects females and is characterized by seizures and developmental delay or intellectual disability until adolescence or early adulthood, followed by severe dystonia, parkinsonism, and progressive dementia. However, rare male patients have recently been reported with hemizygous germline mutations in WDR45 and severe clinical manifestations, such as epileptic encephalopathies. We report here a 4-year-old boy presenting with profound developmental delay, non-syndromic epileptic encephalopathy, and early brain atrophy. The level of serum neuron specific enolase (NSE) was elevated, but the level of serum phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain was not detectable. Targeted next-generation sequencing identified a de novo hemizygous splice donor site mutation, c.830+1G > A in WDR45, which resulted in a splicing defect evidenced by reverse transcriptase-PCR. Mutations in WDR45 should be considered as a cause for epileptic encephalopathies in males with profound developmental delay and brain atrophy. Furthermore, elevation of serum NSE may contribute to early diagnosis of BPAN.
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