Myoclonus-Ataxia Syndromes: A Diagnostic Approach
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SourceMovement Disorders Clinical Practice, 8, 1, (2021), pp. 9-24
Article / Letter to editor
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Movement Disorders Clinical Practice
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: A myriad of disorders combine myoclonus and ataxia. Most causes are genetic and an increasing number of genes are being associated with myoclonus-ataxia syndromes (MAS), due to recent advances in genetic techniques. A proper etiologic diagnosis of MAS is clinically relevant, given the consequences for genetic counseling, treatment, and prognosis. OBJECTIVES: To review the causes of MAS and to propose a diagnostic algorithm. METHODS: A comprehensive and structured literature search following PRISMA criteria was conducted to identify those disorders that may combine myoclonus with ataxia. RESULTS: A total of 135 causes of combined myoclonus and ataxia were identified, of which 30 were charted as the main causes of MAS. These include four acquired entities: opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome, celiac disease, multiple system atrophy, and sporadic prion diseases. The distinction between progressive myoclonus epilepsy and progressive myoclonus ataxia poses one of the main diagnostic dilemmas. CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic algorithms for pediatric and adult patients, based on clinical manifestations including epilepsy, are proposed to guide the differential diagnosis and corresponding work-up of the most important and frequent causes of MAS. A list of genes associated with MAS to guide genetic testing strategies is provided. Priority should be given to diagnose or exclude acquired or treatable disorders.
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