The impact of TK2 deficiency syndrome and its treatment by nucleoside therapy on quality of life

TK2d has significant negative impacts on many aspects of patients’ lives (Fig. 1). The largest impact was on physical function; however, substantial psychosocial impacts were also reported.
Elsevier, Mitochondrion, Volume 68, January 2023
Amtmann D., Gammaitoni A.R., Galer B.S., Salem R., Jensen M.P.

TK2d is an ultrarare autosomal recessive mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Nucleoside therapy improves or stabilizes disease across key outcomes including survival, ambulation, and requirement for mechanical ventilation. However, little is known about the effects of nucleoside therapy treatment of TK2d from the patient's perspective. This study sought to address this knowledge gap. Participants with TK2d and/or their parents/caregivers completed online surveys with standardized health measures and interviews. During interviews, participants rated and described TK2d's impact on 13 quality of life domains, changes since starting nucleoside therapy, and if they would recommend nucleoside therapy. Twenty-five individuals participated (17 adults with TK2d, 4 parent-participant pairs, 4 parents of children with TK2d). Adult participants with TK2d had clinically meaningfully worse scores than the general population on global physical and mental health, physical function, pain interference, fatigue, anxiety, and social function. Children's mobility and pain interference were significantly worse than the general pediatric population. Physical domains most affected by TK2d were: mobility (84%), fatigue (60%), respiratory function (56%), and hospitalizations (55%). Psychosocial domains most affected were: impact on family members (39%), mood (36%), and social life (28%). Most (77%) treated patients reported improvement; whereas, 67% in the untreated group reported worsening. All participants would recommend nucleoside therapy. In summary, TK2d has significant negative impacts on most areas of life and function. Measures of fatigue, sleep, swallowing/eating, speaking, and mood, should be considered as outcomes in clinical trials and research studies. Nucleoside therapy appears to provide meaningful improvements across many health domains affected by TK2d. Synopsis: The consequences of having TK2d are devastating for both those with the disorder and their families; however, nucleoside therapy appears to provide meaningful improvements across many health domains affected by TK2d.