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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Immunotherapy Responsiveness and Risk of Relapse in Down Syndrome Regression Disorder

August 2023 | Santoro et al. - Translational Psychiatry (2023)


Down syndrome regression disorder (DSRD) is a clinical symptom cluster consisting of neuropsychiatric regression without an identifiable cause. This study evaluated the clinical effectiveness of IVIg and evaluated clinical characteristics associated with relapse after therapy discontinuation. A prospective, multi-center, non-randomized, observational study was performed. Patients met criteria for DSRD and were treated with IVIg. All patients underwent a standardized wean-off therapy after 9–12 months of treatment. Baseline, on-therapy, and relapse scores of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Total Score (NPITS), Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S), and the Bush–Francis Catatonia Rating Scale (BFCRS) were used to track clinical symptoms. Eighty-two individuals were enrolled in this study. Patients had lower BFCRS (MD: −6.68; 95% CI: −8.23, −5.14), CGI-S (MD: −1.27; 95% CI: −1.73, −0.81), and NPITS scores (MD: −6.50; 95% CI: −7.53, −5.47) while they were on therapy compared to baseline. Approximately 46% of the patients (n = 38) experienced neurologic relapse with wean of IVIg. Patients with neurologic relapse were more likely to have any abnormal neurodiagnostic study (χ2 = 11.82, P = 0.001), abnormal MRI (χ2 = 7.78, P = 0.005), and abnormal LP (χ2 = 5.45, P = 0.02), and a personal history of autoimmunity (OR: 6.11, P < 0.001) compared to patients without relapse. IVIg was highly effective in the treatment of DSRD. Individuals with a history of personal autoimmunity or neurodiagnostic abnormalities were more likely to relapse following weaning of immunotherapy, indicating the potential for, a chronic autoimmune etiology in some cases of DSRD.

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