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Clin Genet. 2006 Dec;70(6):490-5.

Spastin gene mutations in Bulgarian patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.


Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is an extremely heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders affecting the longest axons in the central nervous system. The most common genetic form accounting for about 40% of the autosomal-dominant HSP (ADHSP) cases is spastin gene, SPG4. We performed mutation screening of the spastin gene on 36 unrelated HSP patients from three different ethnic groups (Bulgarian, Turks and Gypsies) and found four new mutations and one already reported. The phenotype-genotype correlations in Bulgarian SPG4 patients showed a great difference in the age at disease onset between patients with missense mutations and those harboring deletions and splice-site mutations. Our study is the first to present corroborative clinical data in favor of the general hypothesis that the clinical course of the disease is related to the type of the spastin mutation. The clinical and genealogical findings in Bulgarian SPG4 patients suggest that a positive family history for inheritance as an autosomal-dominant trait is a strong indication for spastin mutation screening.

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