Cutaneous Sympathetic Dysfunction in Patients with Machado-Joseph Disease.

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan, .
The Cerebellum (Impact Factor: 2.86). 04/2012; DOI: 10.1007/s12311-012-0381-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although the clinical symptoms of Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) vary widely, those involving the autonomic nervous system, such as cutaneous sympathetic dysfunction, have rarely been investigated. In addition, there are no reports on cutaneous vasomotor function in patients with MJD. To determine the effects of MJD on cutaneous sympathetic function, we evaluated cutaneous vasomotor and sudomotor responses in the palms of 15 patients (mean age, 49 ± 15 years; seven men and eight women) who were genetically diagnosed with MJD as well as in the palms of 15 age-matched, healthy controls (mean age, 48 ± 16 years; nine men and six women). Sweat response was absent in 10 (67 %) patients with MJD, and the mean amplitude of sweat response was significantly lower (p < 0.0001) in patients with MJD than in healthy controls following mental stress (mental arithmetic) and physiological stimuli. Although vasoconstrictive response was absent in three patients with MJD (20 %), there were no significant differences in the mean amplitude of vasoconstrictive response between patients with MJD and healthy controls. These results indicate that patients with MJD have reduced cutaneous sympathetic response, including severely impaired sudomotor functions and mildly affected vasomotor functions.

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    ABSTRACT: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 or Machado-Joseph disease is the most common spinocerebellar ataxia worldwide, and the high frequency of nonmotor manifestations in Machado-Joseph disease demonstrates how variable is the clinical expression of this single genetic entity. Anatomical, physiological, clinical, and functional neuroimaging data reinforce the idea of a degenerative process involving extracerebellar regions of the nervous system in Machado-Joseph disease. Brain imaging and neuropathologic studies have revealed atrophy of the pons, basal ganglia, midbrain, medulla oblongata, multiple cranial nerve nuclei, and thalamus and of the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, and limbic lobes. This review provides relevant information about nonmotor manifestations and extracerebellar symptoms in Machado-Joseph disease. The main nonmotor manifestations of Machado-Joseph disease described in previous data and discussed in this article are: sleep disorders, cognitive and affective disturbances, psychiatric symptoms, olfactory dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, pain, cramps, fatigue, nutritional problems, and dysautonomia. In addition, we conducted a brief discussion of noncerebellar motor manifestations, highlighting movement disorders. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.
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