Ataxia, chorea, seizures, and dementia. Pathologic features of a newly defined familial disorder

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7025.
JAMA Neurology (Impact Factor: 7.42). 08/1989; 46(7):774-9.
Source: PubMed


Five generations of a family exhibit a unique autosomal dominant neurologic disorder characterized by the development (usually between 15 and 30 years of age) of ataxia, seizures, choreiform movements, progressive dementia, and death after 15 to 25 years of illness. Neuropathologic findings in two deceased family members revealed remarkably similar findings, including marked neuronal loss of the dentate nucleus, microcalcification of the globus pallidus, neuroaxonal dystrophy of the nucleus gracilis, and demyelination of the centrum semiovale. The clinical and pathologic findings are closely correlated. Ataxia and chorea are related to severe neuronal loss in the dentate nucleus with calcification in the globus pallidus. Dementia occurs with progressive demyelination of the centrum semiovale, and loss of posterior column function occurs with neuroaxonal dystrophy of the nucleus gracilis and nucleus cuneatus.

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  • Nature Genetics 02/1994; 6(1):3-4. DOI:10.1038/ng0194-3 · 29.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haw River Syndrome (HRS) is a dominant neurodegenerative disease that has affected five generations of an African-American family in rural North Carolina. The disorder represents a unique spectrum of multiple system degenerations resembling Huntington's disease, spinocerebellar atrophy and dentatorubropallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA), a neurodegenerative disease that has been primarily reported in Japan. Recently, DRPLA has been shown to be due to an expanded trinucleotide repeat located on chromosome 12pter-p12. We have genotyped this family and found HRS to be tightly linked to the DRPLA region. Further examination demonstrates that, despite their distinct cultural origins and clinical and pathological differences, HRS is caused by the same expanded CTG-B37 repeat as DRPLA.
    Nature Genetics 09/1994; 7(4):521-4. DOI:10.1038/ng0894-521 · 29.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herein we describe the molecular and clinical findings in a North American Caucasian family with dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA). These patients all presented with an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a variable combination of clinical symptoms including seizures, ataxia, dementia, choreiform movements, mental retardation, and psychiatric disease. Neuroradiologic findings in the index case revealed deep subcortical white matter changes on magnetic resonance imaging. Prior to referral, the family carried a diagnosis of Huntington's disease (HD). Subsequent direct molecular testing for HD failed to identify the HD expansion mutation in affected individuals. Molecular testing for DRPLA, however, demonstrated the presence of the recently characterized DRPLA expansion mutation in all affected individuals. The size of the expansion correlated with the age of onset of clinical symptoms. As DRPLA has rarely been reported in North American and European populations, the molecular confirmation of DRPLA in this family provides support for the hypothesis that DRPLA may not be as geographically restricted as once thought.
    Annals of Neurology 02/1995; 37(2):273 - 277. DOI:10.1002/ana.410370220 · 9.98 Impact Factor
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