limb hypertonia

Neurodevelopmental Disorder, Mitochondrial, with Abnormal Movements and Lactic Acidosis

Clinical Characteristics
Ocular Features: 

Optic atrophy is sometimes present.  Nystagmus, and strabismus are seen in some patients.  A pigmentary retinopathy was found in one individual.

Systemic Features: 

This is a clinically heterogeneous disorder with extensive neurological deficits.  Patients have feeding and swallowing difficulties from the neonatal period.  There is intrauterine growth retardation and postnatally patients usually exhibit psychomotor delays and intellectual disabilities.  Some develop seizures and few achieve normal developmental milestones.  Axial hypotonia is present from early infancy and most patients have muscle weakness and atrophy.  However, there may be spastic quadriplegia which is often associated with dysmetria, tremor, and athetosis.  Ataxia eventually develops in most patients. 

Brain imaging shows cerebral and cerebellar atrophy, enlarged ventricles, white matter defects, and delayed myelination. 

Incomplete metabolic studies suggest there may be abnormalities in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation activity in at least some tissues.  Most patients have an elevated serum lactate.

Death in childhood is common.


Homozygous and compound heterozygous mutations in the WARS2 gene have been found in several families with this condition.  The considerable variation in the phenotype may at least partially be explained by the fact that an additional variant in the W13G gene is sometimes present which impairs normal localization of the WARS2 gene product within mitochondria.

The transmission pattern in several families is consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance.

Autosomal recessive
Treatment Options: 

No treatment has been reported for the general condition.

Article Title: 

Biallelic variants in WARS2 encoding mitochondrial tryptophanyl-tRNA synthase in six individuals with mitochondrial encephalopathy

Wortmann SB, Timal S, Venselaar H, Wintjes LT, Kopajtich R, Feichtinger RG, Onnekink C, Muhlmeister M, Brandt U, Smeitink JA, Veltman JA, Sperl W, Lefeber D, Pruijn G, Stojanovic V, Freisinger P, V Spronsen F, Derks TG, Veenstra-Knol HE, Mayr JA, Rotig A, Tarnopolsky M, Prokisch H, Rodenburg RJ. Biallelic variants in WARS2 encoding mitochondrial tryptophanyl-tRNA synthase in six individuals with mitochondrial encephalopathy. Hum Mutat. 2017 Dec;38(12):1786-1795.

PubMed ID: 
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