Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Amsterdam [etc.] , 2011
Handbook of clinical neurology. - Amsterdam [etc.]
University of Antwerp
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is associated with progressive blindness, dominant transmission, and marked anticipation. SCA7 represents one of the polyglutamine expansion diseases with increase of CAG repeats. The gene maps to chromosome 3p12-p21.1. Normal values of CAG repeats range from 4 to 18. The SCA7 gene encodes a protein of largely unknown function, called ataxin-7. SCA7 is reported in many countries and ethnic groups. Its phenotypic expression depends on the number of expanded repeats. The infantile phenotype is very severe, with more than 100 repeats. The classic type has 50 to 55 repeats and is characterized by a combination of visual and ataxic disturbances lasting for 2040 years.When the number of CAG repeats is between 36 and 43, the evolution is much slower, with few or no retinal abnormalities. A CAG repeat number from 18 to 35 is asymptomatic but predisposes to the development of the disorder when expanding to the pathological range through transmission. The diagnosis is made by molecular genetics. The neuropathology of the disorder includes atrophy of the spinocerebellar pathways, pyramidal tracts, and motor nuclei in the brainstem and spinal cord, a conerod sytrophy of the retina, and ataxin-7 immunoreactive neuronal intranuclear inclusions. The neuropathological features vary as a function of the number of CAG repeats. Present research deals mainly with the study of ataxin-7 in transfected neural cells and transgenic mouse models.