Autosomal dominant spinocerebellar degenerations. Clinical, pathological, and genetic correlations

Rev Neurol (Paris). 1999 Apr;155(4):255-70.


Historical review on hereditary spinocerebellar degenerations (SCD) revealed that some CAG repeat diseases were formerly diagnosed under several different names because of their clinical and pathological heterogeneity. A genetic abnormality in these hereditary SCDs (often with expanded CAG repeat) corresponds to a definite prototypic combination of the principal lesions in the cerebellar, extrapyramidal, and oculomotor systems, which allows neuropathological differentiation between these entities. Variability of both clinical and pathological features is mainly related to the patient's age at onset, which is often correlated with the number of CAG repeat size. Several characteristics are suggestive of these SCD: preferential degeneration of specific systems, size reduction at cellular or tissue level not accompanied by glial reaction (simple atrophy or hypoplastic change) and presence of recently identified ubiquitin positive inclusions in neurons are characteristics of these SCDs. These features provide further insight into the phenotypic development of a genetic abnormality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Culture Techniques
  • Dentate Gyrus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Spinocerebellar Degenerations / genetics*
  • Spinocerebellar Degenerations / pathology*