Mutations in the epsilon subunit of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) are a common cause of congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS). Patients are usually treated with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and 3,4-diaminopyridine with modest clinical benefit. We report 2 patients with CMS due to mutations in the AChR epsilon subunit. The first patient carries two heterozygous frameshift mutations, ε127ins5 and ε1293insG. The second patient is homozygous for the εC142Y mutation that curtails AChR expression to 22% of wild-type in HEK cells. Treatment with pyridostigmine and 3,4-diaminopyridine had a limited beneficial effect in the first patient, and the second patient became wheelchair-bound during therapy. The additional use of albuterol produced dramatic improvement in strength and in activities of daily living in both patients. The efficacy and safety of albuterol in patients who harbor identified low-expressor or null mutations in the epsilon or other subunits of AChR merits a well-designed clinical trial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Physiology (medical)