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Am J Med Genet. 2002 Jul 8;114(5):578-83.

Difference in disease-free survival curve and regional distribution according to subtype of spinocerebellar ataxia: a study of 1,286 Japanese patients.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Hiroshima, Japan.


Expansions of trinucleotide repeats have been discovered in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) types 1, 2, 6, 7, 12, and 17, Machado-Joseph disease (MJD/SCA3), and dentatorubropallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA). However, the frequency of familial SCA in Japan remains unclear. The number of trinucleotide repeats was determined for 1,286 patients. Three hundred and thirty families (523 cases) were autosomal dominant group (A), and 165 families were positive for family history but not autosomal dominant group (B), while the remaining 598 cases were the sporadic group (C). The frequency of SCA subtypes in autosomal dominant group was: 1) 5.5% for SCA1; 2) 2.4% for SCA2; 3) 27.6% for MJD/SCA3; 4) 25.5% for SCA6; 5) 0.3% for SCA17; and 6) 7.3% for DRPLA. Abnormal expansion of SCA12 was not detected. Another 31.5% of the patients in the autosomal dominant group had unknown genetic abnormalities. Within group B, SCA6 was the most prominent and within the sporadic group MJD/SCA3 and SCA6 were the most common subtypes observed. The disease-free survival curve of SCA6 was different from that of other SCAs and the mean age at onset for SCA6 was found to be later than that of the other types. Regional differences were observed in the relative rate of SCA subtypes. MJD/SCA3 appears more common in the Kanto and Kyushu districts of Japan, whereas SCA6 is most common in the Chugoku district. In order to establish an effective social welfare system for SCA patients, clinical course and regional differences in the prevalence of SCA subtypes must be taken into consideration.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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