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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)
Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is characterized by progressive weakness and spasticity of the lower limbs due to degeneration of corticospinal axons. We found that patients from a chromosome 16q24.3-linked HSP family are homozygous for a 9.5 kb deletion involving a gene encoding a novel protein, named Paraplegin. Two additional Paraplegin mutations,(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)
Hereditary spastic paraplegia is a genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous disorder. Both pure and complicated forms have been described, with autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked inheritance. Various loci (SPG1-SPG6) associated with this disorder have been mapped. Here, we report linkage analysis of a large consanguineous family(More)
Friedreich's ataxia is the most common inherited ataxia. Ninety-six percent of patients are homozygous for GAA trinucleotide repeat expansions in the first intron of the frataxin gene. The remaining cases are compound heterozygotes for a GAA expansion and a frataxin point mutation. We report here the identification of 10 novel frataxin point mutations, and(More)
Two hundred and forty-eight patients from 116 Italian families with dominant ataxia were studied for CAG expansion within SCA1, 2, 3, 6, 7 (spinocerebellar ataxia) and DRPLA (dentatorubropallidoluysian atrophy) genes. Fifty-six percent of the families originated from Southern, 19% from Central and 25% from Northern Italy. SCA2 was the commonest mutation,(More)
We studied 83 patients from 36 Italian families with autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia type I. Mean onset age +/- SD was 34.2 +/- 12.8 years with a mean anticipation of 12.8 +/- 15.1 in 52 parent-offspring pairs. Onset age anticipation occurred predominantly through paternal transmission. Mean age at death was at 56.5 +/- 15.5 years. The most common(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)
Friedreich's ataxia is a recessive neurodegenerative disease due to insufficient expression of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Although it has been shown that frataxin is involved in the control of intracellular iron metabolism, by interfering with the mitochondrial biosynthesis of proteins with iron/sulphur (Fe/S) clusters its role has not been well(More)