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Letterio Salvatore Politi, Stefania Bianchi Marzoli, Claudia Godi, Marta Panzeri, Paola Ciasca, Gianluca Brugnara, Anna Castaldo, Daniela Di Bella, Franco Taroni, Lorenzo Nanetti, Caterina Mariotti; MRI Evidence of Cerebellar and Extraocular Muscle Atrophy Differently Contributing to Eye Movement Abnormalities in SCA2 and SCA28 Diseases. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(6):2714-2720. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-18732.
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Spinocerebellar ataxias type 2 and 28 (SCA2, SCA28) are autosomal dominant disorders characterized by progressive cerebellar and oculomotor abnormalities. We aimed to investigate cerebellar, brainstem, and extraocular muscle involvement in the mitochondrial SCA28 disease compared with SCA2.
We obtained orbital and brain 1.5 T–magnetic resonance images (MRI) in eight SCA28 subjects, nine SCA2, and nine age-matched healthy subjects. Automated segmentation of cerebellum and frontal lobe was performed using Freesurfer software. Manual segmentations for midbrain, pons, and extraocular muscles were performed using OsiriX.
Eye movement abnormalities in SCA2 subjects were characterized by slow horizontal saccades. Subjects with SCA28 variably presented hypometric saccades, saccadic horizontal pursuit, impaired horizontal gaze holding, and superior eyelid ptosis. Quantitative brain MRI demonstrated that cerebellar and pons volumes were significantly reduced in both SCA2 and SCA28 subjects compared with controls (P < 0.03), and in SCA2 subjects compared with SCA28 (P < 0.01). Midbrain and frontal lobe volumes were also significantly reduced in SCA2 compared to controls (P < 0.03), whereas these volumes did not differ between SCA2 and SCA28 and between SCA28 and control subjects. The extraocular muscle areas were 37% to 48% smaller in SCA28 subjects compared with controls (P < 0.002), and 14% to 36% smaller compared with SCA2 subjects (P < 0.03). Extraocular muscle areas did not differ between SCA2 and controls.
Our MRI findings support the hypothesis of different cerebellar and extraocular myopathic contributions in the eye movement abnormalities in SCA2 and SCA28 diseases. In SCA28, a myopathic defect selectively involving the extraocular muscles supports a specific impairment of mitochondrial energy metabolism.
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