ATXN2 intermediate expansions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Jonathan D. Glass*, Ramita Dewan, Jinhui Ding, J. Raphael Gibbs, Clifton Dalgard, Pamela J. Keagle, Shankaracharya, Alberto García-Redondo, Bryan J. Traynor, Ruth Chia, John E. Landers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intermediate CAG (polyQ) expansions in the gene ataxin-2 (ATXN2) are now recognized as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The threshold for increased risk is not yet firmly established, with reports ranging from 27 to 31 repeats. We investigated the presence of ATXN2 polyQ expansions in 9268 DNA samples collected from people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with frontotemporal dementia, frontotemporal dementia alone, Lewy body dementia and age matched controls. This analysis confirmed ATXN2 intermediate polyQ expansions of ≥31 as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with an odds ratio of 6.31. Expansions were an even greater risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with frontotemporal dementia (odds ratio 27.59) and a somewhat lesser risk for frontotemporal dementia alone (odds ratio 3.14). There was no increased risk for Lewy body dementia. In a subset of 1362 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with complete clinical data, we could not confirm previous reports of earlier onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or shorter survival in 25 patients with expansions. These new data confirm ≥31 polyQ repeats in ATXN2 increase the risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and also for the first time show an even greater risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with frontotemporal dementia. The lack of a more aggressive phenotype in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients with expansions has implications for ongoing gene-silencing trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2671-2676
Number of pages6
JournalBrain
Volume145
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • ataxin-2
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • polyQ expansion

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