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Euch-Fayache G.E.,Mongi Ben Hamida National Institute of Neurology | Euch-Fayache G.E.,Mongi Ben Hamida National Institute of Neurology | Bouhlal Y.,University of California at San Francisco | Amouri R.,Mongi Ben Hamida National Institute of Neurology | And 3 more authors.

Ataxia with vitamin E deficiency is an autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia caused by mutations in the α-tocopherol transfer protein coding gene localized on chromosome 8q, leading to lower levels of serum vitamin E. More than 91 patients diagnosed with ataxia with vitamin E deficiency have been reported worldwide. The majority of cases originated in the Mediterranean region, and the 744delA was the most common mutation among the 22 mutants previously described. We examined the clinical and molecular features of a large cohort of 132 Tunisian patients affected with ataxia with vitamin E deficiency. Of these patients, nerve conduction studies were performed on 45, and nerve biopsy was performed on 13. Serum vitamin E was dramatically reduced for 105 of the patients analysed. Molecular analysis revealed that 91.7% of the patients (n = 121) were homozygous for the 744delA mutation. Three other mutations were detected among the remaining patients (8.3%, n = 11) in the homozygous state. Two were previously reported (400C>T and 205-1G>T), and one was novel (553+1T>A). Age of onset was 13.2 ± 5.9 years, with extremes of 2 and 37 years. All described patients exhibited persistent progressive cerebellar ataxia with generally absent tendon reflexes. Deep sensory disturbances, pyramidal syndrome and skeletal deformities were frequent. Head tremor was present in 40% of the patients. Absence of neuropathy or mild peripheral neuropathy was noted in more than half of the cohort. This is the largest study of the genetic, clinical and peripheral neuropathic characteristics in patients with ataxia and vitamin E deficiency. The 744delA mutation represents the most common pathological mutation in Tunisia and worldwide, likely because of a Mediterranean founder effect. Our study led us to suggest that any patient displaying an autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia phenotype with absent tendon reflexes and minor nerve abnormalities should first be screened for the 744delA mutation, even in the absence of a serum vitamin E measurement. © 2013 The Author (2013). Source

Trinh J.,University of British Columbia | Amouri R.,Mongi Ben Hamida National Institute of Neurology | Duda J.E.,University of Pennsylvania | Morley J.F.,University of Pennsylvania | And 13 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging

Parkinson disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease for which leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2 carriers) p.G2019S confers substantial genotypic and population attributable risk. With informed consent, we have recruited clinical data from 778 patients from Tunisia (of which 266 have LRRK2 parkinsonism) and 580 unaffected subjects. Motor, autonomic, and cognitive assessments in idiopathic Parkinson disease and LRRK2 patients were compared with regression models. The age-associated cumulative incidence of LRRK2 parkinsonism was also estimated using case-control and family-based designs. LRRK2 parkinsonism patients had slightly less gastrointestinal dysfunction and rapid eye movement sleep disorder. Overall, disease penetrance in LRRK2 carriers was 80% by 70 years but women become affected a median 5 years younger than men. Idiopathic Parkinson disease patients with younger age at diagnosis have slower disease progression. However, age at diagnoses does not predict progression in LRRK2 parkinsonism. LRRK2 p.G2019S mutation is a useful aid to diagnosis and modifiers of disease in LRRK2 parkinsonism may aid in developing therapeutic targets. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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