Increased Diagnostic Yield of Spastic Paraplegia with or Without Cerebellar Ataxia Through Whole-Genome Sequencing.


Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia. [Email]


Inherited disorders of spasticity or ataxia exist on a spectrum with overlapping causative genes and phenotypes. We investigated the use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to detect a genetic cause when considering this spectrum of disorders as a single group. We recruited 18 Korean individuals with spastic paraplegia with or without cerebellar ataxia in whom common causes of hereditary cerebellar ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia had been excluded. We performed WGS with analysis for single nucleotide variants, small insertions and deletions, copy number variants (CNVs), structural variants (SVs) and intronic variants. Disease-relevant variants were identified in ABCD1 (n = 3), CAPN1 (n = 2), NIPA1 (n = 1) and PLA2G6 (n = 1) for 7/18 patients (38.9%). A 'reverse phenotyping' approach was used to clarify the diagnosis in individuals with PLA2G6 and ABCD1 variants. One of the ABCD1 disease-relevant variants was detected on analysis for intronic variants. No CNV or SV causes were found. The two males with ABCD1 variants were initiated on monitoring for adrenal dysfunction. This is one of only a few studies to analyse spastic-ataxias as a continuous spectrum using a single approach. The outcome was improved diagnosis of unresolved cases for which common genetic causes had been excluded. This includes the detection of ABCD1 variants which had management implications. Therefore, WGS may be particularly relevant to diagnosing spastic ataxias given the large number of genes associated with this condition and the relatively high diagnostic yield.


Ataxia,Cerebellar,Diagnosis,Hereditary spastic paraplegia,Spastic,Whole-genome sequencing,