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FXTAS is rare among Portuguese patients with movement disorders: FMR1 premutations may be associated with a wider spectrum of phenotypes

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Author(s): Seixas Ana | Vale José | Jorge Paula | Marques Isabel | Santos Rosário | Alonso Isabel | Fortuna Ana | Pinto-Basto Jorge | Coutinho Paula | Margolis Russell | Sequeiros Jorge | Silveira Isabel

Journal: Behavioral and Brain Functions
ISSN 1744-9081

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract The fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansions of 55-200 CGG repeats in the 5'UTR of the FMR1 gene. These FMR1 premutation expansions have relatively high frequency in the general population. To estimate the frequency of FMR1 premutations among Portuguese males with non-familial, late-onset movement disorders of unknown etiology, we assessed CGG repeat size in males with disease onset after the age of 50 and negative or unknown family history for late-onset movement disorders, who were sent for SCA, HD, or PD genetic testing at a reference laboratory. The selected patients had a primary clinical diagnosis based on one of the following cardinal features of FXTAS: ataxia, tremor, or cognitive decline. A total of 86 subjects were genotyped for the CGG repeat in the FMR1 gene. We detected one patient with an expansion in the premutation range. The frequency of FMR1 premutations was 1.9% (1/54) in our group of patients with ataxia as the primary clinical feature, and 1.2% (1/86) in the larger movement disorders group. In the family of the FXTAS case, premutation-transmitting females presented a history of psychiatric symptoms, suggesting that, given the wide phenotypical expression of the premutation in females, neuropsychiatric surveillance is necessary. In conclusion, genetic testing for FXTAS should be made available to patients with adult-onset movement disorders to enable adequate genetic counseling to family members.
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