To identify factors that determine disease severity and clinical phenotype of the most common spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs), we studied 526 patients with SCA1, SCA2, SCA3. or SCA6.
To measure the severity of ataxia we used the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). In addition, nonataxia symptoms were assessed with the Inventory of Non-Ataxia Symptoms (INAS). The INAS count denotes the number of nonataxia symptoms in each patient.
An analysis of covariance with SARA score as dependent variable and repeat lengths of the expanded and normal allele, age at onset, and disease duration as independent variables led to multivariate models that explained 60.4% of the SARA score variance in SCA1, 45.4% in SCA2, 46.8% in SCA3, and 33.7% in SCA6. In SCA1, SCA2, and SCA3, SARA was mainly determined by repeat length of the expanded allele, age at onset, and disease duration. The only factors determining the SARA score in SCA6 were age at onset and disease duration. The INAS count was 5.0 +/- 2.3 in SCA1, 4.6 +/- 2.2 in SCA2, 5.2 +/- 2.5 in SCA3, and 2.0 +/- 1.7 in SCA6. In SCA1, SCA2, and SCA3, SARA score and disease duration were the strongest predictors of the INAS count. In SCA6, only age at onset and disease duration had an effect on the INAS count.
Our study suggests that spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) 1, SCA2, and SCA3 share a number of common biologic properties, whereas SCA6 is distinct in that its phenotype is more determined by age than by disease-related factors.
"We described clinical characteristics of the four most common SCAs in Thailand including MJD, SCA1, SCA2 and SCA6. This data showed that the main clinical features of Thai patients were similar to the previous reports of other ethnic groups to some extent [9,13,15,16,34-37]. However, there were also noticeable differences in some aspects between Thai patients and patients of other ethnic groups including (1) frequent observation of slow saccades in all of the studied types of SCA; (2) the relatively less frequent neuropathy and more frequent pyramidal signs in SCA2; (3) the relatively earlier onset of SCA6 in Thais; and (4) the scarcity of extrapyramidal features and cognitive impairment. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-ataxic symptoms of spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) vary widely and often overlap with various types of SCAs. Duration and severity of the disease and genetic background may play a role in such phenotypic diversity. We conducted the study in order to study clinical characteristics of common SCAs in Thailand and the factors that may influence their phenotypes.
131 (49.43%) out of 265 Thai ataxia families with cerebellar degeneration had positive tests for SCA1, SCA2, Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) or SCA6. The study evaluated 83 available families including SCA1 (21 patients), SCA2 (15), MJD (39) and SCA6 (8). Comparisons of frequency of each non-ataxic sign among different SCA subtypes were analysed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were undertaken to analyze parameters in association with disease severity and size of CAG repeat.
Mean ages at onset were not different among patients with different SCAs (40.31 +/- 11.33 years, mean +/- SD). Surprisingly, SCA6 patients often had age at onset and phenotypes indistinguishable from SCA1, SCA2 and MJD. Frequencies of ophthalmoparesis, nystagmus, hyperreflexia and areflexia were significantly different among the common SCAs, whilst frequency of slow saccade was not. In contrast to Caucasian patients, parkinsonism, dystonia, dementia, and facial fasciculation were uncommon in Thai patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that ophthalmoparesis (p < 0.001) and sensory impairment (p = 0.025) were associated with the severity of the disease.
We described clinical characteristics of the 4 most common SCAs in Thailand accounting for almost 90% of familial spinocerebellar ataxias. There were some different observations compared to Caucasian patients including earlier age at onset of SCA6 and the paucity of extrapyramidal features, cognitive impairment and facial fasciculation. Severity of the disease, size of the pathological CAG repeat allele, genetic background and somatic heterogeneity of pathological alleles may influence clinical expressions of these common SCAs.
"An increase in disability level with duration of disease was present as expected; however the level of disability was greater than compared to previous reports. Although the disease duration was shorter in our study than in EUROSCA (7.4 ± 3.1vs 9.5 ± 5.5) the mean SARA score of 18.8 ± 9.7 was higher (15.6 ± 9.1) . This may be related to the relatively higher CAG repeat length in the study population (Tables 2 and 3), resulting in a rapidly progressive severe phenotype. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA) are a group of hereditary neurodegenerative disorders. Prevalence of SCA subtypes differ worldwide. Autosomal dominant ataxias are the commonest types of inherited ataxias seen in Sri Lanka. The aim of the study is to determine the genetic etiology of patients with autosomal dominant ataxia in Sri Lanka and to describe the clinical features of each genetic subtype.
Thirty four patients with autosomal dominant ataxia were recruited. For every patient the following was done: recording of clinical details and genotyping for SCA 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 17.
Sixty one per cent of the subjects were identified as SCA1. One subject had SCA2, 12 remain unidentified. Mean age at onset was 34.8 ± 10years for SCA1 and 32.7 ± 9.8 for non SCA1. 76% of SCA1 patients and 50% of non SCA1 were using walking aids. Quantification of symptoms and signs were similar in the SCA1 and non SCA1 groups. Clinical depression was evidenced in 68.4% of SCA1 and 75% non SCA-1 patients. Mean CAG repeat length in SCA1 patients was 52.0 ± 3.8, with greater anticipation seen with paternal inheritance.
SCA1 was the predominant subtype and showed similar phenotype to previous reports. However, disease severity was higher and depression more prevalent in this population than previously described.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia (ADCA) is a type of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) characterized by ataxia with other neurological signs, including oculomotor disturbances, cognitive deficits, pyramidal and extrapyramidal dysfunction, bulbar, spinal and peripheral nervous system involvement. The global prevalence of this disease is not known. The most common type I ADCA is SCA3 followed by SCA2, SCA1, and SCA8, in descending order. Founder effects no doubt contribute to the variable prevalence between populations. Onset is usually in adulthood but cases of presentation in childhood have been reported. Clinical features vary depending on the SCA subtype but by definition include ataxia associated with other neurological manifestations. The clinical spectrum ranges from pure cerebellar signs to constellations including spinal cord and peripheral nerve disease, cognitive impairment, cerebellar or supranuclear ophthalmologic signs, psychiatric problems, and seizures. Cerebellar ataxia can affect virtually any body part causing movement abnormalities. Gait, truncal, and limb ataxia are often the most obvious cerebellar findings though nystagmus, saccadic abnormalities, and dysarthria are usually associated. To date, 21 subtypes have been identified: SCA1-SCA4, SCA8, SCA10, SCA12-SCA14, SCA15/16, SCA17-SCA23, SCA25, SCA27, SCA28 and dentatorubral pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA). Type I ADCA can be further divided based on the proposed pathogenetic mechanism into 3 subclasses: subclass 1 includes type I ADCA caused by CAG repeat expansions such as SCA1-SCA3, SCA17, and DRPLA, subclass 2 includes trinucleotide repeat expansions that fall outside of the protein-coding regions of the disease gene including SCA8, SCA10 and SCA12. Subclass 3 contains disorders caused by specific gene deletions, missense mutation, and nonsense mutation and includes SCA13, SCA14, SCA15/16, SCA27 and SCA28. Diagnosis is based on clinical history, physical examination, genetic molecular testing, and exclusion of other diseases. Differential diagnosis is broad and includes secondary ataxias caused by drug or toxic effects, nutritional deficiencies, endocrinopathies, infections and post-infection states, structural abnormalities, paraneoplastic conditions and certain neurodegenerative disorders. Given the autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, genetic counseling is essential and best performed in specialized genetic clinics. There are currently no known effective treatments to modify disease progression. Care is therefore supportive. Occupational and physical therapy for gait dysfunction and speech therapy for dysarthria is essential. Prognosis is variable depending on the type of ADCA and even among kindreds.
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