Body composition in Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 and 10 patients: Comparative study with control group

Nutr Neurosci. 2020 Jan;23(1):49-54. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2018.1469282. Epub 2018 May 7.


Background: Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a group of neurodegenerative genetic diseases characterized by movement disorders that can affect nutritional status and body composition. This study sought to assess body composition in SCA3 and SCA10 patients. Methods: Anthropometric assessments and bioelectric impedance analysis were performed in 46 SCA3 and SCA10 patients and 76 controls of both genders. Results: Of the patients, 69.6% had SCA3 and 58.7% were women. SCA3 patients had significantly lower percentages of body fat (%BF) than controls (15.0 ± 6.1 vs. 20.6 ± 7.1; p=0.014) and (22.4 ± 6.9 vs. 30.1 ± 6.0; p<0.001), respectively. Among the women, there was a statistically significant difference in %BF between SCA3 and SCA10 patients (22.4 ± 6.9 vs. 32.4 ± 4.9; p<0.001). Male and female SCA3 patients had significantly lower fat-free mass (FFM) than controls [50.6 kg (46.9-54.7) vs. 58.6 kg (52.6-63.9); p=0.001] and [38.2 kg (35.1-42.6) vs. 42.8 kg (39.7-46.1); p=0.004], respectively. Male SCA10 patients also had lower FFM than controls [51.2 kg (47.1-55.4) vs. (52.6-63.9); p=0.008]. Female SCA10 patients had significantly higher FFM than controls and SCA3 patients [45.0 kg (43.3-45.6) vs. 42.8 kg (39.7-46.1); p=0.004] and [45.0 kg (43.3-45.6) vs. 38.2 kg (35.1-42.6); p=0.004], respectively. There was moderate correlation (-0.42) between disease duration and muscle mass (MM), and weak (-0.38) between SARA (Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia) and MM in SCA3. In SCA10, there was no significant correlation between these variables. Conclusion: Female SCA3 patients had more body composition changes than female SCA10 patients, mainly in relation to FFM. SCA3 and SCA10 patients need nutritional follow-up to minimize body compartment changes.

Keywords: Anthropometry; Bioelectric impedance; Body composition; Fat free mass; Genetic disease; Muscle mass; Neurodegenerative disease; Nutritional status; Spinocerebellar ataxias.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition*
  • DNA Repeat Expansion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Machado-Joseph Disease / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / physiopathology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia 10