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February 1, 1996

Trinucleotide repeat length and clinical progression in Huntington's disease

February 1996 issue
46 (2) 527-531


We examined the relationship between length of the trinucleotide (CAG) repeat at IT-15 and clinical progression of Huntington's disease in 46 mildly to moderately affected patients over a 2-year interval. Patients were divided into those with short mutations (37 to 46 repeats; n equals 25) and those with long mutations (more than equals 47 repeats, n equals 21). Patients with long repeat lengths had earlier age at onset and were younger and less functionally impaired than those with short repeats at the initial visit, but the groups did not differ in severity of neurologic or cognitive impairment. However, the long-repeat group displayed significantly greater decline in both neurologic and cognitive functioning over the 2-year follow-up period. The length of the CAG repeat correlated highly with age at onset (r equals minus 0.72, p less than 0.001) and was a strong predictor of decline in both neurologic and cognitive function. The mechanism of gene action, and the means by which longer expansions result in a more malignant disease process, remain to be elucidated.
NEUROLOGY 1996,46 527-531

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Published In

Volume 46Number 2February 1996
Pages: 527-531
PubMed: 8614526

Publication History

Published online: February 1, 1996
Published in print: February 1996


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Affiliations & Disclosures

From the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Supported in part by grant NS16735 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to The Johns Hopkins University.
Received March 15, 1995. Accepted in final form May 30, 1995.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Jason Brandt, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Meyer 218, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-7218.

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