Title
Involvement of the auditory brainstem system in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), type 3 (SCA3) and type 7 (SCA7) Involvement of the auditory brainstem system in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), type 3 (SCA3) and type 7 (SCA7)
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Source (journal)
Neuropathology and applied neurobiology / British Neuropathological Society. - Oxford
Volume/pages
(2008)
ISSN
0305-1846
ISI
000259613200001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Aims: The spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), type 3 (SCA3) and type 7 (SCA7) are clinically characterized by progressive and severe ataxic symptoms, dysarthria, dysphagia, oculomotor impairments, pyramidal and extrapyramidal manifestations and sensory deficits. Although recent clinical studies reported additional disease signs suggesting involvement of the brainstem auditory system, this has never been studied in detail in SCA2, SCA3 or SCA7. Methods: We performed a detailed pathoanatomical investigation of unconventionally thick tissue sections through the auditory brainstem nuclei (that is, nucleus of the inferior colliculus, nuclei of the lateral lemniscus, superior olive, cochlear nuclei) and auditory brainstem fibre tracts (that is, lateral lemniscus, trapezoid body, dorsal acoustic stria, cochlear portion of the vestibulocochlear nerve) of clinically diagnosed and genetically confirmed SCA2, SCA3 and SCA7 patients. Results: Examination of unconventionally thick serial brainstem sections stained for lipofuscin pigment and Nissl material revealed a consistent and widespread involvement of the auditory brainstem nuclei in the SCA2, SCA3 and SCA7 patients studied. Serial brainstem tissue sections stained for myelin showed loss of myelinated fibres in two of the auditory brainstem fibre tracts (that is, lateral lemniscus, trapezoid body) in a subset of patients. Conclusions: The involvement of the auditory brainstem system offers plausible explanations for the auditory impairments detected in some of our and other SCA2, SCA3 and SCA7 patients upon bedside examination or neurophysiological investigation. However, further clinical studies are required to resolve the striking discrepancy between the consistent involvement of the brainstem auditory system observed in this study and the comparatively low frequency of reported auditory impairments in SCA2, SCA3 and SCA7 patients.
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