Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome: pathophysiology and management

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7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The purpose of this paper is to review the prevalence, pathophysiology, and management of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). RECENT FINDINGS: The pathophysiology of FXTAS involves ribonucleic acid (RNA) toxicity due to elevated levels of the premutation-expanded CGG (eoxycytidylate-deoxyguanylate-deoxyguanylate)-repeat FMR1 mRNA, which can sequester a variety of proteins important for neuronal function. A recent analysis of the inclusions in FXTAS demonstrates elevated levels of several proteins, including small ubiquitin-related modifiers 1/2 (SUMO1/2), that target molecules for the proteasome, suggesting that some aspect(s) of proteasomal function may be altered in FXTAS. Recent neuropathological studies show that Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease can sometimes co-occur with FXTAS. Lewy bodies can be found in 10% of the brains of patients with FXTAS. Microbleeds and iron deposition are also common in the neuropathology, in addition to white matter disease (WMD) and atrophy. SUMMARY: The premutation occurs in 1:200 females and 1:400 males. Penetrance for FXTAS increases with age, though lower in females (16%) compared to over 60% of males by age 70. To diagnose FXTAS, an MRI is essential to document the presence of WMD, a primary component of the diagnostic criteria. Pain can be a significant feature of FXTAS and is seen in approximately 50% of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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