Spinocerebellar ataxia type 31 associated with REM sleep behavior disorder: a case report.


Department of Neurology, University of Yamanashi, 1110 Shimokatou, Yamanashi, 409-3898, Japan. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Spinocerebellar ataxia type 31 (SCA 31) is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by pure cerebellar ataxia. Unlike other CAG repeat diseases, sleep-related problems have not been reported in patients with SCA 31 so far.
METHODS : A 67-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with dysarthria and gait disturbance after onset age of 62 years. Neurological examination revealed pure cerebellar ataxia. Genetic analysis detected expansion of a TGGAA repeat in the coding region of the BEAN/TK2 gene on chromosome 16p22.1, confirming the diagnosis of SCA 31. One year later, her husband noticed the patient talking loudly during sleep once or twice a week. Overnight polysomnography showed rapid eye movement sleep without atonia. Cardiac scintigraphy with iodine-123-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanidine revealed a low heart/mediastinum ratio, indicating reduced uptake, and a high washout rate.
CONCLUSIONS : To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with SCA 31 associated with rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD). In the future, evaluation of autonomic function, assessment of the frequency of RBD, and performance of cardiac iodine-123-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy in a larger number of SCA 31 patients could be useful to resolve important issues regarding the mechanism of RBD.


Cardiac 123I-MIBG scintigraphy,Polysomonography,REM sleep behavior disorder,Spinocerebellar ataxia type 31,α-Synucleinopathy,