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Am J Hum Genet. 1992 May;50(5):892-5.

Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) types II and III in the same sibship are not caused by different alleles at the SMA locus on 5q.

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  • 1Abteilung für Pädiatrische Genetik und Pränatale Diagnostik der Kinderpoliklinik, Munich, Germany.


Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of progressive muscular diseases recently mapped to chromosome 5q. SMA is usually classified into types I-III, and there are cases of two types of SMA in the same sibship. Becker and others later proposed that these sibships might be due to the existence of several alleles at the same locus predisposing to the different forms of the disease. In a sample of four sibships in which both SMA type II and SMA type III occur, this hypothesis was clearly rejected for the SMA locus on 5q, by using information on the segregation of linked markers (P less than .001). Thus the difference between SMA type II and SMA type III is not due to different alleles at the SMA locus on 5q. This finding is suggestive of an involvement of other factors, genetic or environmental, in the determination of disease severity in SMA.

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