Molecular and clinical studies in SCA-7 define a broad clinical spectrum and the infantile phenotype

C. S. Benton, R. De Silva, S. L. Rutledge, S. Bohlega, T. Ashizawa, H. Y. Zoghbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Objective: To screen for the SCA-7 mutation in autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia (ADCA) families and study genotype/phenotype correlations. Background: The association of cerebellar ataxia and progressive pigmentary macular dystrophy clinically defines a distinct form of ADCA classified as SCA-7. SCA-7 is caused by expansion of a highly unstable CAG repeat that lies in the coding region of a novel gene on chromosome 3p12-13. Methods: We screened 51 ADCA kindreds, in which SCA-1, SCA-2, SCA-3, and SCA6 mutations had been excluded, for the SCA-7 mutation using primers that specifically amplify the SCA-7 CAG repeat. Results: The SCA-7 mutation was identified in 10 independent families. Normal alleles ranged from 7 to 16 repeats; expanded alleles ranged from 41 to 306 repeats. One allele with 36 repeats was found in an asymptomatic individual carrying an at-risk haplotype. SCA-7 presents a wide spectrum of clinical features including visual loss, dementia, hypoacusia, severe hypotonia, and auditory hallucinations. Juvenile SCA-7 occurs on maternal and paternal transmission of the mutation, whereas the infantile form occurs only on paternal transmission. An infant of African American descent carried the largest SCA-7 expansion (306 CAG repeats) and had severe hypotonia, congestive heart failure, patent ductus arteriosus, cerebral and cerebellar atrophy, and visual loss. Conclusion: These data show a wide spectrum of phenotypic abnormalities in SCA-7 and define an infantile phenotype caused by the largest CAG repeat expansion described to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1086
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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