ARSACS as a Worldwide Disease: Novel SACS Mutations Identified in a Consanguineous Family from the Remote Tribal Jammu and Kashmir Region in India.


Department of Biotechnology, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, J&K, 185234, India. [Email]


Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the triad of early-onset cerebellar ataxia, peripheral sensorimotor neuropathy, and lower limb spasticity. Here, we present a 28-year-old male patient with symptoms of ARSACS and mild intellectual disability from a consanguineous family of tribal J&K, India. Whole exome sequencing unraveled a novel homozygous frameshift SACS mutation (Cys2869ValfsTer15) in the patient. In addition to the well-established ARSACS imaging features, MRI revealed T2 hyperintense rim around the thalami ("bithalamic stripes") demonstrating that this feature might serve as an additional supportive diagnostic imaging marker for ARSACS. Moreover, retinal nerve fiber layer thickening which has recently been proposed as a diagnostic biomarker for ARSACS was present on routine optic coherence tomography (OCT) also in this patient, indicating that it might indeed present a relatively universal diagnostic biomarker for ARSACS. In sum, our findings extend the geographical distribution of ARSACS to even very remote tribal regions in Asia (such as the Rajouri region of J&K, India) and extend the mutational and imaging spectrum of ARSACS. They provide further support that brain imaging and OCT markers might serve as diagnostic biomarkers for ARSACS in patients with novel SACS mutations, applicable even in remote regions of the world to identify and confirm ARSACS disease.


ARSACS,Consanguinity,J&K,Tribal India,Whole exome,

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