PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
The development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies is transforming the practice of medical genetics and revolutionizing the approach to heterogeneous hereditary conditions, including skeletal muscle disorders. Here, we review the different NGS approaches described in the literature so far for the characterization of myopathic patients and the results obtained from the implementation of such approaches in a clinical setting.
The overall diagnostic rate of NGS strategies for patients affected by skeletal muscle disorders is higher than the success rate obtained using the traditional gene-by-gene approach. Moreover, many recent articles have been expanding the clinical phenotypes associated with already known disease genes.
NGS applications will soon be the first-tier test for skeletal muscle disorders. They will improve the diagnosis in myopathic patients, promoting their inclusion into novel therapeutic trials. At the same time, they will improve our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms causing skeletal muscle disorders, favoring the development of novel therapeutic approaches.