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Neuropathology. 2005 Jun;25(2):125-35.

Degeneration of the inferior olive in spinocerebellar ataxia 6 may depend on disease duration: report of two autopsy cases and statistical analysis of autopsy cases reported to date.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


This report concerns a clinicopathological study of two autopsied patients with spinocerebellar ataxia 6 (SCA6), and a statistical analysis between neuronal loss of the inferior olive and disease duration of 15 SCA6 autopsy cases reported to date, including the two cases reported in this study. Cases 1 and 2 came from independent Japanese families. Case 1 developed gait disturbance at age 35 years and died at age 78 years; she had a CAG-repeat expansion of the SCA6 gene (25/13). Case 2 presented with gait disturbance at age 68 years and died at age 78 years; he had an expanded CAG-repeat of the SCA6 gene (22/13). Neuropathological examination of both cases disclosed not only neuronal loss of the Purkinje cells and inferior olive, but also some unnoticed features, including cactus-like expansion of the dendrite of Purkinje cells and relative preservation of Golgi cells in the granular layer of the cerebellum. Exploratory statistical analysis between 11 SCA6 autopsy cases with neuronal loss in the inferior olive (average disease duration: 27 years) and four SCA6 autopsy cases without neuronal loss in the olive (average disease duration: 14.5 years) was investigated by Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival and log-rank test, retrospectively. Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival revealed an obvious difference between the two groups. Survival of 10 years after the disease onset was 90.9% in the former 11 SCA6 autopsy cases, but was 50% in the latter four SCA6 autopsy cases. Furthermore, a log-rank test on the two groups disclosed a significant difference (P=0.0450). We postulate that the neuronal loss of the inferior olive in SCA6 may depend on disease duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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