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A study of subtelomeric rearrangements in 300 patients with mental retardation and multiple congenital anomalies: their clinical and molecular characterisation
INTRODUCTION. The study of mental retardation is one of the most complex fields in human genetics due to its high degree of clinical and genetic heterogeneity. About 50% of cases of mental retardation remain undiagnosed. It is known that about 6-10% of cases are due to subtelomeric rearrangements. Some of these are responsible for a clinically recognized phenotype, i.e. 1p36 or 22q13.33 microdeletion syndromes, but others affect few patients and are not well characterized.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. We have analyzed 300 consecutive mentally retarded patients for subtelomeric rearrangements by MLPA.
RESULTS. About 5.3% of patients presented subtelomeric rearrangements; from these, 75% contained de novo rearrangements and 18.7% included inherited aberrations from a healthy parent. In 14 cases, aberrations were likely related to disease and in two cases were putative polymorphisms.