Novel SACS mutations associated with intellectual disability, epilepsy and widespread supratentorial abnormalities

Research paper by Zafar Ali, Joakim Klar, Mohammad Jameel, Kamal Khan, Ambrin Fatima, Raili Raininko, Shahid Baig, Niklas Dahl

Indexed on: 22 Oct '16Published on: 21 Oct '16Published in: Journal of the Neurological Sciences


We describe eight subjects from two consanguineous families segregating with autosomal recessive childhood onset spastic ataxia, peripheral neuropathy and intellectual disability. The degree of intellectual disability varied from mild to severe and all four affected individuals in one family developed aggressive behavior and epilepsy. Using exome sequencing, we identified two novel truncating mutations (c.2656C > T (p.Gln886*)) and (c.4756_4760delAATCA (p.Asn1586Tyrfs*3)) in the SACS gene responsible for autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS). MRI revealed typical cerebellar and pontine changes associated with ARSACS as well as multiple supratentorial changes in both families as likely contributing factors to the cognitive symptoms. Intellectual disability and behavioral abnormalities have been reported in some cases of ARSACS but are not a part of the characteristic triad of symptoms that includes cerebellar ataxia, spasticity and peripheral neuropathy. Our combined findings bring further knowledge to the phenotypic spectrum, neurodegenerative changes and genetic variability associated with the SACS gene of clinical and diagnostic importance.

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