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Q J Med. 1992 Feb;82(298):169-79.

Ataxia telangiectasia in the British Isles: the clinical and laboratory features of 70 affected individuals.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford.


Seventy individuals with ataxia telangiectasia were studied: 29 females and 41 males with an age range of 2 to 42 years. The majority (43/68) presented by 3 years of age with truncal ataxia. All had progressive, handicapping neurological symptoms exhibiting ataxia (70/70), ocular motor apraxia (70/70), an impassive face (70/70), dysarthria (70/70), chorea (68/70), dystonia (55/70) and peripheral neuropathy (50/70). Clinical immune deficiency was present in 43 of 70 patients. Ocular telangiectasia were seen in all but one case and excessive thinness in 54 of 70. The mean age of loss of walking was 10 years and of writing 8 years. All 60 tested showed increased sensitivity to ionizing irradiation, 43 of 48 had an elevated alpha-fetoprotein level and 14 of 21 had an immunoglobulin deficiency. Although there was a marked variation in disease findings sibs were always similar. The heterogeneity seen seems at odds with the unilocus linkage of ataxia telangiectasia to 11q23.

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