CDG breaking news! Teaming-up internationally to help families affected by ALG1-CDG (formerly CDG-Ik)!
Combating challenges united for a rare sugar disease Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG)
By: Vanessa Ferreira, Volunteer President and Founder APCDG (www.apcdg.com)
Reviewed by: Fiona Waddell, journalist and patient
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016
Read more about ALG1-CDG (formerly CDG-Ik) HERE
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Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG) is a growing group of diseases among 8000 known rare diseases. Researchers and treatment developers on Rare Diseases like CDG are often challenged by multiple difficulties: lack of scientific knowledge about the disease, small patient populations, fragmented research, lack of biomarkers, and so forth.
Last January Bobby Ng and colleagues (2) showed that a novel compound called tetrasaccharide was a biomarker for either detecting or confirming a diagnosis of ALG1-CDG. “The benefit of this novel tetrasaccharide is that it is highly abundant in patients with ALG1-CDG. So when we find an unsolved type I CDG with this tetrasaccharide, we now know to go directly for ALG1”, refers study co-author Bobby Ng Human Genetics Program, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California.
Now, researchers documented 39 previously unreported cases of ALG1-CDG from 32 families. Previous to this study, only 18 patients from 14 families have been reported to have ALG1-CDG. From 39 affected individuals enrolled into this study, all 27 had this tetrasaccharide present on either serum or fibroblast glycoproteins. This shows the added value of biomarkers to speed up research by understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of diseases. In addition, biomarkers may offer an invaluable tool for monitoring disease progression, prognosis and response to drug treatment.
In addition, the current study augments knowledge about new mutations and robustness of the clinical picture of this subtype of CDG. “Early in this study it became clear that ALG1-CDG was more common than people had originally thought. So we reached out to collaborators to see if they too had come across additional cases and sure enough they had. Because of this international collaboration we are able to report on all 39 cases in one report, which can be more impactful than several single case studies. ”, says Bobby.
Thanks to this international effort, ALG1-CDG is now ranked as the third most common CDG type behind PMM2-CDG (CDG-Ia according to previous nomenclature) and ALG6-CDG (also known as congenital disorder of glycosylation type Ic).
Undoubtedly, this international research cooperation showed two main benefits for ALG1-CDG patients: acceleration of knowledge and improvement of diagnosis and care. This work is complemented by worldwide patient organizations efforts.
Keywords: ALG1-CDG, Biomarker, congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG).
Read more about ALG1-CDG (formerly CDG Ik) HERE
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