ABSTRACT: Spinal muscular atrophies (SMAs) are hereditary disorders characterized by degeneration of lower motor neurons. Different SMA types are clinically and genetically heterogeneous and many of them show significant phenotypic overlap. We recently described the clinical phenotype of a new disease in two Finnish families with a unique autosomal dominant late-onset lower motor neuronopathy. The studied families did not show linkage to any known locus of hereditary motor neuron disease and thus seemed to represent a new disease entity. For this study, we recruited two more family members and performed a more thorough genome-wide scan. We obtained significant linkage on chromosome 22q, maximum LOD score being 3.43 at marker D22S315. The linked area is defined by flanking markers D22S686 and D22S276, comprising 18.9 Mb. The region harbours 402 genes, none of which is previously known to be associated with SMAs. This study confirms that the disease in these two families is a genetically distinct entity and also provides evidence for a founder mutation segregating in both pedigrees.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 04/2012; 20(11):1193-6. · 3.56 Impact Factor