Biological and clinical characteristics of individuals at risk for spinocerebellar ataxia types 1, 2, 3, and 6 in the longitudinal RISCA study: analysis of baseline data.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
The Lancet Neurology (Impact Factor: 21.82). 05/2013;
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are autosomal, dominantly inherited, fully penetrant neurodegenerative diseases. Our aim was to study the preclinical stage of the most common SCAs: SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, and SCA6. METHODS: Between Sept 13, 2008, and Dec 1, 2011, offspring or siblings of patients with SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, or SCA6 were enrolled into a prospective, longitudinal observational study at 14 European centres. To be eligible for inclusion in our study, individuals had to have no ataxia and be aged 18-50 years if directly related to individuals with SCA1, SCA2, or SCA3, or 35-70 years if directly related to individuals with SCA6. We did anonymous genetic testing to identify mutation carriers. We assessed participants with clinical scales, questionnaires, and performance-based coordination tests. In eight of the 14 centres, participants underwent MRI. We analysed relations between outcome variables and time from onset (defined as the difference between present age and estimated age at ataxia onset). This study is registered with, number NCT01037777. FINDINGS: 276 participants met inclusion criteria and agreed to participate, of whom 12 (4%) were excluded from final analysis because DNA samples were missing or genotyping failed. Estimated time from onset was -9 years (IQR -13 to -6) in 50 carriers of the SCA1 mutation, -12 years (-15 to -9) in 31 SCA2 mutation carriers, -8 years (-11 to -6) in 26 SCA3 mutation carriers, and -18 years (-22 to -16) in 16 SCA6 mutation carriers. Compared with non-carriers of each mutation, SCA1 mutation carriers had higher median scores on the scale for the assessment and rating of ataxia (SARA; 0·5 [IQR 0-1·0] vs 0 [0-0]; p=0·0052), as did SCA2 mutation carriers (0·5 [0-2·0] vs 0 [0-0·5]; p=0·0037). SCA2 mutation carriers had lower SCA functional index scores than did non-carriers (-0·43 [-0·91 to -0·07] vs 0·09 [-0·30 to 0·56]; p=0·0007). SCA2 mutation carriers had worse composite cerebellar functional scores than did their non-carrier counterparts (0·915 [0·861-0·959] vs 0·849 [0·764-0·886]; p=0·0039). All other differences between carriers and non-carriers were non-significant. In SCA1 and SCA2 mutation carriers, SARA scores were increased in participants who were closer to the estimated age at onset (SCA1: r=0·36, p=0·0112; SCA2: r=0·50, p=0·0038). 83 individuals (30%) underwent MRI. Voxel-based morphometry showed grey-matter loss in the brainstem and cerebellum in SCA1 and SCA2 mutation carriers, and normalised brainstem volume was lower in SCA2 mutation carriers (median 0·015, range 0·012-0·016) than in non-carriers (0·019, 0·017-0·021; p=0·0107). INTERPRETATION: Preclinical SCA1 and SCA2 mutation carriers seem to have mild coordination deficits and abnormalities in the brain that are more common in carriers who are closer to the estimated onset of ataxia. Individuals in this early disease stage could be targeted in future preventive trials. FUNDING: ERA-Net E-Rare and Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

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    ABSTRACT: The prodromal phase of spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) has not been systematically studied. Main findings come from a homogeneous SCA type 2 (SCA2) population living in Cuba. The aim of this study was to characterize extensively the prodromal phase of SCA2 by several approaches. Thirty-seven non-ataxic SCA2 mutation carriers and its age- and sex-matched controls underwent clinical assessments, including standardized neurological exam, structured interviews and clinical scales, and looking for somatic and autonomic features, as well as a neuropsychological battery, antisaccadic recordings, and MRI scans. Main clinical somatic features of non-ataxic mutation carriers were cramps, sensory symptoms, sleep disorders, and hyperreflexia, whereas predominating autonomic symptoms were pollakiuria/nocturia, constipation, and frequent throat clearing. Cognitive impairments included early deficits of executive functions and visual memory, suggesting the involvement of cerebro-cerebellar-cerebral loops and/or reduced cholinergic basal forebrain input to the cortex. Antisaccadic task revealed impaired oculomotor inhibitory control but preserved ability for error correction. Cognitive and antisaccadic deficits were higher as carriers were closer to the estimated onset of ataxia, whereas higher Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) scores were associated most notably to vermis atrophy. The recognition of early features of SCA2 offers novel insights into the prodromal phase and physiopathological base of the disease, allowing the assessment of its progression and the efficacy of treatments, in particular at early phases when therapeutical options should be most effective.
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    The Lancet Neurology 03/2014; · 21.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most common spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA)-SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, and SCA6-are caused by (CAG)n repeat expansion. While the number of repeats of the coding (CAG)n expansions is correlated with the age at onset, there are no appropriate models that include both affected and preclinical carriers allowing for the prediction of age at onset. We combined data from two major European cohorts of SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, and SCA6 mutation carriers: 1187 affected individuals from the EUROSCA registry and 123 preclinical individuals from the RISCA cohort. For each SCA genotype, a regression model was fitted using a log-normal distribution for age at onset with the repeat length of the alleles as covariates. From these models, we calculated expected age at onset from birth and conditionally that this age is greater than the current age. For SCA2 and SCA3 genotypes, the expanded allele was a significant predictor of age at onset (-0.105±0.005 and -0.056±0.003) while for SCA1 and SCA6 genotypes both the size of the expanded and normal alleles were significant (expanded: -0.049±0.002 and -0.090±0.009, respectively; normal: +0.013±0.005 and -0.029±0.010, respectively). According to the model, we indicated the median values (90% critical region) and the expectancy (SD) of the predicted age at onset for each SCA genotype according to the CAG repeat size and current age. These estimations can be valuable in clinical and research. However, results need to be confirmed in other independent cohorts and in future longitudinal studies. NCT01037777 and NCT00136630 for the French patients.
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May 15, 2014