Ataxia

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Risk for Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 ATXN2 CAG Repeat Alleles: A Meta-analysis.

Neuenschwander AG, Thai KK, Figueroa KP, Pulst SM.

Abstract
IMPORTANCE:
Repeats of CAG in the ataxin 2 gene (ATXN2) in the long-normal range (sometimes referred to as intermediate) have been identified as modifiers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) risk. Prior studies have used thresholding considering various cutoffs for ATXN2 repeat length.
OBJECTIVE:
To calculate association between ATXN2 CAG repeat alleles and increased risk of ALS across multiple ethnic groups.
DATA SOURCES:
The MEDLINE database was searched for studies published by December 29, 2013, reporting ATXN2 CAG repeat length in patients with ALS and controls.
STUDY SELECTION:
Studies were included if they reported original data on relative risks or odds ratios (ORs) from ALS and control populations for individual ATXN2 alleles. Review articles that reported no new data were not included in the analysis.
DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS:
Analysis of allele distribution was performed to ensure that all studies followed identical allele sizing. The ORs, 95% confidence intervals, and population attributable risk percentages were calculated according to standard procedures.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
Occurrence of ALS associated with ATXN2 repeat alleles, expressed as ORs.
RESULTS:
Nine studies were analyzed, including 7505 controls and 6151 sporadic ALS cases. The ALS and control cohorts were recruited from different geographical and ethnic regions including the United States, French Canada/Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, mainland China, Turkey, and Flanders-Belgium. The ATXN2 CAG repeat lengths ranged from 13 to 39 in patients with ALS and from 13 to 34 in controls. The ORs were less than 1.00 for alleles with 25 to 28 repeats. The OR was 1.55 for 30 repeats, but this elevation was not statistically significant (95% CI, 0.88-2.73). The ORs were 2.70 (95% CI, 1.47-4.93) for 31 CAG repeats, 11.09 (95% CI, 4.16-29.57) for 32 repeats, and 5.76 (95% CI, 1.79-18.57) for 33 repeats.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
In contrast to prior studies with smaller numbers, risk for ALS associated with long-normal alleles is complex. Alleles with 27 and 28 repeats lower ALS risk slightly. The risk for ALS increases beginning with 29 repeats and reaches a maximum at 32 and 33 repeats. Of note, alleles with repeats of these lengths are known to be predisposed to meiotic expansion to full-penetrance mutant alleles. In patients with ALS, alleles with 31 to 33 repeats may have undergone preferential expansion in motor neurons during mitosis or DNA repair. Our meta-analysis provides a framework for counseling individuals with long-normal ATXN2 repeats.
PMID: 25285812 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

:: Courtesy NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) Database and The NIH (National Institutes of Health) ::

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25285812


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