Mitochondrial mimicry of multiple system atrophy of the cerebellar subtype

Mov Disord. 2011 Mar;26(4):753-5. doi: 10.1002/mds.23510. Epub 2011 Jan 21.


Background: We describe a patient with clinical and radiological findings suggestive of multiple system atrophy of the cerebellar subtype (MSA-C).

Methods/results: Sequencing of the polymerase-γ 1 (POLG1) gene revealed the patient had compound heterozygous mutations of the POLG1 gene. Muscle biopsy revealed the presence of multiple mitochondrial DNA deletions and depletion, confirming the pathogenic nature of the POLG1 mutations.

Discussion: This case expands the spectrum of phenotypes associated with POLG1 mutations to include multiple system atrophy and prompts further consideration regarding whether routine screening for POLG1 mutations is indicated in this patient population.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple System Atrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Multiple System Atrophy / genetics
  • Multiple System Atrophy / pathology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA Polymerase gamma
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • POLG protein, human