10/26, Golf Tournament and Auction, San Jose, CA!

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage will hold its 13th annual Gregory Austin Macres Memorial Golf Tournament on Oct. 26 at the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club, 3000 Alexis Drive. Registration is $135 and is open until Monday. A raffle and silent auction will also be held at the event.

The event is a fundraiser for the Children’s Gaucher Research Fund. Children’s Gaucher Disease is a progressive debilitating genetic disease that attacks children and causes a variety of systemic and neurological medical complications. The public is encouraged to participate in the tournament and may register by contacting their local Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office or sales associate. For more information on the Children’s Gaucher Research Fund, please visit www.childrensgaucher.org.

For more information on the Gregory Austin Macres Memorial Golf Tournament, call 925-275-3085.

Little Ethan McKown, you will never be forgotten

I haven’t been able to get Little Ethan out of my mind since he passed away last week from Gaucher’s Disease type 2.   When his dad caught me the morning after he passed and told me what happened, it has felt like a knife in my heart.  I know my husband is feeling the same way, as it has been almost a week, and he is still reeling from the reality and senselessness of his death. 

I have received about a dozen or so emails over the past couple of months asking how he has been doing since his mom posted his story on my blog

His dad and I have chatted quite a bit over the past few months just keeping up on our kids.   The conversations were very open and sometimes brutually honest, especially between Darren (Little Ethan’s dad) and my husband.  I was grateful for their outlet to talk to each other, as my husband needed to reach out to another dad going through this disease.

I keep thinking about what my friend, Nicole, said after she lost her beautiful son, Greyson, to Krabbes disease at 11 months old.  She said that he finally was able to leave his “broken body” and be free to run, play, and soar.   I hope that he and Little Ethan find each other and run, play, and soar together.

I don’t think I have ever had such a reality check as I did with Little Ethan’s death.  We knew him for 7 months or so.  He is the 7th child to die of this disease since Hannah’s diagnosis that I know of.  

I go through periods when I think how different Hannah is going to be and how she is going to be the one to beat this disease.   Hope makes you believe this; the alternative is not an option at this point.  But then I also think back to Nicole’s comment and relating it to “Hannah’s broken body” because of this disease.

Little Ethan, you will always be in my heart.  I know that I will never, ever forget you. 

Management of neuronopathic Gaucher disease: Revised recommendations


The original guidelines drawn up for the management of the neuronopathic forms of Gaucher disease were felt to be in need of revision; in particular, the role of high-dose enzyme replacement therapy (120 IU/kg of body weight every 2 weeks) in stabilizing neurological disease. The existing published evidence was analysed; it was concluded that it did not support the role of high-dose ERT, although this might be required to treat severe visceral disease.

Alpha-synuclein-glucocerebrosidase interactions in pharmacological Gaucher models: A biological link between Gaucher disease and parkinsonism


The Parkinson’s Institute, 675 Almanor Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA.

A growing body of experimental and clinical literature indicates an association between Gaucher disease and parkinsonism, raising the possibility that convergent mechanisms may contribute to neurodegeneration in these disorders. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn), a key protein in Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis, and abnormalities in glucocerebroside (GC) catabolism that lead to the development of Gaucher disease. We inhibited glucocerebrosidase (GCase) with conduritol B epoxide (CBE) in neuroblastoma cells and mice to test whether a biological link exists between GCase activity and alpha-syn. After CBE exposure, enhanced alpha-syn protein was detected in differentiated cells challenged with CBE as compared to vehicle, with no change in alpha-syn mRNA. In the mouse model, after one injection of CBE, elevated nigral alpha-syn levels were also detected. Analyses by Western blot and confocal microscopy revealed that normal alpha-syn distribution was perturbed after CBE exposure with its accumulation apparent within nigral cell bodies as well as astroglia. These findings raise the possibility that alpha-syn may contribute to the cascade of events that promote neuronal dysfunction in Gaucher disease and are the first to implicate this protein as a plausible biological intersection between Gaucher disease and parkinsonism using a pharmacological model.

PMID: 19576930 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Uncoupling between CD1d upregulation induced by retinoic acid and conduritol-B-epoxide and iNKT cell responsiveness


IBMC – Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal; ICBAS – Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

Gaucher disease (GD) is associated with upregulation of CD1d and MHC-class II expression by monocytes. While the physiological impact of CD1d upregulation remains uncertain, it has been proposed that MHC-class II upregulation is associated with inflammation. Hereby, we show that the decrease in MHC-class II expression seen in GD patients under therapy correlates positively with chitotriosidase activity, a marker of inflamed macrophages. We also show that retinoic acid (RA) and the beta-glucocerebrosidase inhibitor conduritol-B-epoxide (CBE) lead to upregulation of CD1d expression by THP-1 cells, which correlated with an increase in mRNA expression. In vitro co-culture experiments showed that RA treated THP-1 cells were more stimulatory for CD4(+) than for CD8(+) T cells, as determined by CFSE loss, in comparison to untreated THP-1 cells. Interestingly, even though addition of exogenous isoglobotrihexosylceramide (iGb3), a physiological CD1d ligand, augmented the percentage of dividing CD4(+) T cells, we could not detect a significant expansion of CD4(+)Valpha24(+) invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells. In contrast, addition of alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GC) induced expansion of Valpha24(+) iNKT cells as determined by using alpha-GC-loaded human CD1d dimers. These results strengthen the existence of a cross-talk between monocyte lipid accumulation, inflammation and changes in cell surface CD1d and MHC-class II in monocytes, which may result in inappropriate recognition events by immune cells and perpetuate chronic inflammation.

PMID: 19651460 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Parkinsonism in Gaucher’s disease type 1: Ten new cases and a review of the literature


Frédéric Sedel (frederic.sedel@psl.aphp.fr)

Ichraf Kraoua, MD 1, Jérôme Stirnemann, MD 2, Maria João Ribeiro, MD, PhD 3, Tiphaine Rouaud, MD 4, Marc Verin, MD, PhD 4, Agnès Annic, MD 5, Christian Rose, MD, PhD 6, Luc Defebvre, MD, PhD 5, Liliane Réménieras, MD 7, Michaël Schüpbach, MD 1, Nadia Belmatoug, MD 8, Marie Vidailhet, MD 1 9, Frédéric Sedel, MD, PhD 1 *
1Federation of Nervous System Diseases, Reference Center for Lysosomal Diseases, Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France
2Department of Internal Medicine, Jean Verdier Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris X111 University, France
3Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, I2BM, DSV, CEA, Orsay, France
4Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Rennes, Rennes, France
5Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Lille, Lille, France
6Department of Onco-Haematology, Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital, Lille, France
7Department of Haematology, University Hospitals of Limoges, Limoges, France
8Department of Internal Medicine, Reference Center for Lysosomal Diseases, Beaujon Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France
9INSERM U679, Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6) University, France

*Correspondence to Frédéric Sedel, Federation of Nervous System Diseases and Reference Centre for Lysosomal Diseases, Salpêtrière Hospital, 47 Boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75651 Paris cedex 13, France

Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

Funded by:

Gaucher • glucocerebrosidase • parkinsonism • Parkinson’s disease • Lewy body dementia
Parkinsonism has been described in patients with Gaucher’s disease (GD). We reviewed the 10 cases of patients with both parkinsonism and GD recorded in the French national GD registry, as well as 49 previously published cases. Relative to the general population, parkinsonism in GD patients (1) was more frequent, (2) occurred at an earlier age, (3) responded less well to levodopa, and (4) was more frequently associated with signs of cortical dysfunction. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and substrate reduction therapy (SRT) were ineffective on GD-associated parkinsonism, suggesting that parkinsonism itself is not an indication for ERT or SRT in this setting. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society