Spinocerebellar Ataxia in Monozygotic Twins

Archives of Neurology - 2002-12-01Anderson JH, Christova P, Xie TD, Schott KS, Ward K, Gomez CM10.1001/archneur.59.12.1945
Context Although phenotypic heterogeneity in autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) has been explained in part by genotypic heterogeneity, clinical observations suggest the influence of additional factors.Objectives To demonstrate, quantitate, and localize physiologic abnormalities attributable to nongenetic factors in the development of hereditary SCA.Design Quantitative assessments of ocular motor function and postural control in 2 sets of identical twins, one with SCA type 2 and the other with episodic ataxia type 2.Setting University laboratory.Main Outcome Measures Saccadic velocity and amplitude, pursuit gain, and dynamic posturography.Results We found significant differences in saccade velocity, saccade metrics, and postural stability between each monozygotic twin. The differences point to differential involvement between twins of discrete regions in the cerebellum and brainstem.Conclusions These results demonstrate the presence of quantitative differences in the severity, rate of progression, and regional central nervous system involvement in monozygotic twins with SCA that must be owing to the existence of nongermline or external factors.