Prevalence of triplet repeat expansion in ataxia patients from Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan

J Neurol Sci. 2000 Apr 1;175(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(00)00313-0.


Approximately 44% of cases of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, were estimated to be inherited. To determine the prevalence of triplet repeat expansion in hereditary SCA patients, we genotyped seven genetically defined dominant SCAs in 349 patients, including 266 patients from 77 families, 78 probands from unrelated families with hereditary late-onset SCA, and five patients in whom a family history of SCA was not demonstrated. The frequency of each disorder in a total of 155 unrelated families was 23.9% for Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), 29.0% for SCA6, 9.7% for SCA1, 7.7% for SCA2, and 2.6% for dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy. Abnormal expansion of triplet repeats for SCA7 and SCA8 was not detected. A total of 27.1% of the patients had still unknown SCA mutations. In addition, the GAA repeat in the frataxin gene was not abnormally expanded in 13 early-onset SCA patients with clinical features similar to those of Friedreich ataxia. Comparison of our results with those from other centers handling SCA showed that MJD is prevalent throughout Japan, but the frequencies of other dominant SCAs differ considerably even within Japan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Family Health
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Prevalence
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / epidemiology*
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / genetics*
  • Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion / genetics*