Antonella Monticelli

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Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive, degenerative disease that involves the central and peripheral nervous systems and the heart. A gene, X25, was identified in the critical region for the FRDA locus on chromosome 9q13. This gene encodes a 210-amino acid protein, frataxin, that has homologs in distant species such as Caenorhabditis elegans(More)
CONTEXT Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior and BDNF levels are decreased in the brain and plasma of suicide subjects. So far, the mechanisms leading to downregulation of BDNF expression are poorly understood. OBJECTIVES To test the hypothesis that alterations of DNA methylation could(More)
Twenty two patients from 17 families with Friedreich's disease phenotype but with onset ranging from the ages of 21 to 36 are described. Comparison with "typical" Friedreich's disease with onset before 20 years of age showed only a lower occurrence of skeletal deformities. The peripheral and central neurophysiological findings, sural nerve biopsy, and the(More)
A form of autosomal recessive spastic ataxia (ARSACS) has been described in the Charlevoix and Saguenay regions of Quebec. So far a frameshift and a nonsense mutation have been identified in the SACS gene. The authors report a new mutation (1859insC), leading to a frameshift with a premature termination of the gene product sacsin, in two sisters from(More)
BACKGROUND This study evaluated the relationship between the G(-866)A polymorphism of the uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) gene and high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP) plasma levels in diabetic patients. METHODS We studied 383 unrelated people with type 2 diabetes aged 40-70 years. Anthropometry, fasting lipids, glucose, HbA1c, and hs-CRP were(More)
Many decades of scientific investigation have proved the role of selective pressure in Homo Sapiens at least at the level of individual genes or loci. Nevertheless, there are examples of polygenic traits that are bound to be under selection, but studies devoted to apply population genetics methods to unveil such occurrence are still lacking. Stature(More)
The most common causative mutation of Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the unstable hyperexpansion of an intronic GAA triplet repeat that impairs frataxin transcription. Using real time quantitative PCR, we showed that FRDA patients had residual levels of frataxin mRNA ranging between 13% and 30% and that FRDA carriers had about 40% of that of controls.(More)
OBJECTIVE Friedreich's ataxia patients are homozygous for expanded alleles of a GAA triplet-repeat sequence in the FXN gene. Patients develop progressive ataxia due to primary neurodegeneration involving the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). The selective neurodegeneration is due to the sensitivity of DRGs to frataxin deficiency; however, the progressive nature(More)
We describe three siblings from an Italian family affected by an autosomal recessive spinocerebellar degeneration. Gait ataxia, presenting between 38 and 45 years, was the first symptom in all three patients. Dysarthria, dysmetria, brisk tendon reflexes, extensor plantar response, and scoliosis were constant features. Disease progression was slow.(More)
Friedreich's ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease due to frataxin deficiency, and thus, drugs increasing the frataxin amount are excellent candidates for therapy. By screening Gene Expression Omnibus profiles, we identified records showing a frataxin response to the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonist rosiglitazone. We(More)