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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jul;54(7):618-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04287.x. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

Microdeletions detected using chromosome microarray in children with suspected genetic movement disorders: a single-centre study.

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Movement Disorder Clinic, Institute of Neuroscience and Muscle Research, Children's Hospital at Westmead, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



Chromosome microarray (CMA) can determine copy number variants such as microdeletions or microduplications. Microdeletions of movement disorder genes including epsilon-sarcoglycan (SGCE) and thyroid transcription factor-1 (TITF1) have been described in patients with myoclonus dystonia and benign hereditary chorea respectively. We examined whether CMA is a valuable tool in the investigation of children with suspected genetic movement disorders.


A genetic movement disorder was suspected if there was a positive first-degree family history, or two or more of the following factors: normal or near-normal magnetic resonance imaging, negative history of brain injury, and negative investigations for metabolic disorders. Tic disorders were excluded. Twenty-five patients (18 males, seven females) with a mean age at movement disorder onset of 4 years 5 month (range 1 mo-14 y) were prospectively recruited with the following primary movement disorders: dystonia (n=10), paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (n=5), tremor (n=4), chorea (n=3), myoclonus (n=2), and paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia (n=1). Comorbid associated features were common, particularly developmental delay or intellectual disability (19 out of 25) and attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (six out of 25). CMA was performed using Agilent aCGH 60K array.


Seven out of twenty-five patients had a microdeletion determined by CMA. None of the microdeletions were considered benign variants. Four patients had a deletion of a known movement disorder gene including paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PRRT2; n=2), SGCE (myoclonus dystonia, n=1), and TITF1 (benign hereditary chorea, n=1). Three patients had novel microdeletions of unknown but potential significance including 14q13.3 (chorea, n=1), 19p13.12 (tremor, n=1), and 19q13.12 (progressive dystonia). All seven patients had associated neurodevelopmental or behavioural problems.


Assays that determine copy number variants may be a valuable first-tier investigation in patients with suspected genetic movement disorders, particularly when associated with intellectual disability or developmental disorders. Microdeletion syndromes may help the search for new movement disorder genes.

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