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J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2019 Dec;21(2):112-116. doi: 10.1097/CND.0000000000000266.

Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Kennedy Disease: A Case Report.

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Victor Pauchet Clinics, Amiens, France.


Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy or Kennedy disease (KD) is an X-linked recessive disorder caused by a pathogenic CAG expansion in the first exon of the androgen receptor. Proximal muscle atrophy, weakness, contraction fasciculations, bulbar involvement, and sensory disturbances are part of the clinical picture of KD. We report the unusual genetic and phenotypic expression in 2 monozygotic twins. Genetic analysis has shown abnormal expansion of CAG repeat in the first exon of the androgen receptor gene on chromosome X different between the twin brothers (44, respectively, 46) but with large phenotypical differences including onset age, evolution, and clinical features. Disease began at age 31 for the first brother, respectively, and at 56 years for the second one and consisted of muscle wasting and progressive impairment of walking. In addition, the second brother did not manifest bulbar involvement 3 years after clinical onset and has more sensory features. Besides classical EMG testing, we evaluate sensory participation in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy with sudoscan device and confirmed the sensory deficit. We discussed epigenetic factors potentially involved in KD that could play a role in the phenotypical differences. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case describing CAG trinucleotide repeats in monozygotic twins and also the first sudoscan diagnostic of sensory disturbances in Kennedy syndrome.

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