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Neurol Genet. 2018 Oct 24;4(6):e279. doi: 10.1212/NXG.0000000000000279. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Novel genotype-phenotype and MRI correlations in a large cohort of patients with SPG7 mutations.

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Academic Directorate of Neurosciences (C.A.A.H., R.O'.M., M.K.R., S.P., Z.P., S.B., C.J.M., P.J.S., M.H.), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital; Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) (C.A.A.H., R.S., T.R., C.J.M., P.J.S., M.H.), University of Sheffield; Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service (N.J.B., J.M.), Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust; Department of Clinical Neurophysiology (G.R., P.S.), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital; Academic Unit of Radiology (N.H.), University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital; and Sheffield NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience (C.A.A.H., N.H., R.S., P.S., S.B., C.J.M., P.J.S., M.H.), United Kingdom.



To clinically, genetically, and radiologically characterize a large cohort of SPG7 patients.


We used data from next-generation sequencing panels for ataxias and hereditary spastic paraplegia to identify a characteristic phenotype that helped direct genetic testing for variations in SPG7. We analyzed MRI. We reviewed all published SPG7 mutations for correlations.


We identified 42 cases with biallelic SPG7 mutations, including 7 novel mutations, including a large multi-exon deletion, representing one of the largest cohorts so far described. We identified a characteristic phenotype comprising cerebellar ataxia with prominent cerebellar dysarthria, mild lower limb spasticity, and a waddling gait, predominantly from a cohort of idiopathic ataxia. We report a rare brain MRI finding of dentate nucleus hyperintensity on T2 sequences with SPG7 mutations. We confirm that the c.1529C>T allele is frequently present in patients with long-standing British ancestry. Based on the findings of the present study and existing literature, we confirm that patients with homozygous mutations involving the M41 peptidase domain of SPG7 have a younger age at onset compared to individuals with mutations elsewhere in the gene (14 years difference, p < 0.034), whereas c.1529C>T compound heterozygous mutations are associated with a younger age at onset compared to homozygous cases (5.4 years difference, p < 0.022).


Mutant SPG7 is common in sporadic ataxia. In patients with British ancestry, c.1529C>T allele represents the most frequent mutation. SPG7 mutations can be clinically predicted by the characteristic hybrid spastic-ataxic phenotype described above, along with T2 hyperintensity of the dentate nucleus on MRI.

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