Hong Kong Med J 2004;10:53-6 | Number 1, February 2004
Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy in two Chinese families in Hong Kong
WKL Yam, NSP Wu, IFM Lo, CH Ko, WL Yeung, STS Lam
Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, Tai Po, Hong Kong
We report on two Hong Kong Chinese families with dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy. Two children in one family presented with progressive myoclonic epilepsy syndrome, and two children in the other family presented with ataxochoreo-athetoid symptoms. Early-onset childhood dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy involved mental retardation, whereas myoclonic epilepsy was the predominant complaint in later-onset childhood version of the disease. Aspiration pneumonia was common in the late stage of disease. Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy is an autosomal dominant condition attributed to CAG trinucleotide repeats in the dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy gene. The four children in this series had 63 to 79 CAG repeats. The expanded allele was inherited from the father in both families. One father had 54 CAG repeats and was asymptomatic; the other had 66 repeats and had an unsteady gait. Because the radiological, electroencephalographic, and electrophysiological findings were non-specific, we suggest that DRPLA gene testing should be performed in any child presenting with a variable combination of myoclonic epilepsy, mental retardation or developmental regression, and ataxochoreo-athetosis.
Key words: Atrophy/genetics; DNA/genetics; Epilepsies, myoclonic/genetics
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