Natural History of and Genetic Modifiers in Spinocerebellar Ataxias
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Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA) are genetic neurological diseases that cause imbalance, poor coordination, and speech difficulties. There are different kinds of SCA and this study will focus on types 1, 2, 3, and 6 (SCA 1, SCA 2, SCA 3, also known as Machado-Joseph disease and SCA 6). The diseases are rare, slowly progressive, cause increasingly severe neurological difficulties and are variable across and within genotypes. The purpose of this research study is to bring together a group of experts in the field of SCA for the purpose of learning more about the disease.
The research questions are:
- How does the disease progress over time?
- What are the best ways to measure disease progression?
- Do some genes, other than the gene that is abnormal in the SCA disease, have any effect on the way the disease behaves?