[Neuroacanthocytosis update]

Mio Ichiba, Masayuki Nakamura, Akira Sano
Brain and Nerve, Shinkei Kenkyū No Shinpo 2008, 60 (6): 635-41
Neuroacanthocytosis is an inclusive term for a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by the association of neurological abnormalities with red cell acanthocytosis. In the late 1960s, Levine et al. reported a family with a syndrome of neurological deficits such as choreiform involuntary movements, epileptic seizures, intellectual impairment, and paranoid ideation along with acanthocytosis without any disturbance in either alpha- or beta-lipoproteins nor retinitis pigmentosa. Critchley et al. also reported familial cases with acanthocytosis and neurological disorders without beta-lipoproteinemia. These cases have been classified as the Levine-Critchley syndrome of neuroacanthocytosis. Cases of neuroacanthocytosis have been classified into 2 groups depending on the presence or absence of movement disorders such as chorea. One group comprises the core neuroacanthocytosis syndromes in which neurodegeneration occurs primarily in the basal ganglia, specifically the striatum, causing movement disorders. The core neuroacanthocytosis syndromes mainly comprise of the two diseases, chorea-acanthocytosis and the McLeod syndrome. Huntington's disease-like 2, and pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) are very rare but these diseases can also be included in this group of syndromes. Advances in molecular genetics have enabled us to distinguish between these diseases. Recently, the hypoprebetalipoproteinemia, acanthocytosis, retinitis pigmentosa and pallidal degeneration syndrome (HARP syndrome) has been genetically shown to be an allelic form of PKAN. The second group of neuroacanthocytosis syndromes includes abetalipoproteinemia (Bassen-Kornzweig disease) and hypobetalipoproteinemia that are characterized by the abnormal decay of lipoprotein with the intestinal malabsorption of fat leading to neurological abnormalities and acanthocytosis. In this type of neuroacanthocytosis shows a progressive spinocerebellar ataxia with peripheral neuropathy and retinitis pigmentosa are observed, but movement disorders are not seen.

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