Friedreich ataxia patients are homozygous for expanded GAA triplet-repeats containing 66 to 1,700 triplets. We report two patients with delayed-onset, hyperreflexia and gradually progressive disease. Both were heterozygous for large expansions and also carried alleles with 44 and 66 triplet-repeats, respectively. Due to somatic instability, 15% (GAA-44) and 75% (GAA-66) of cells contained alleles with ≥66 triplet-repeats, constituting a plausible mechanism for their mild phenotype. A sibling with a stable GAA-37 allele and a. large expansion was clinically normal. Instability of borderline alleles confers a risk for Friedreich ataxia, and the range of pathogenic alleles is broader than previously recognized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology