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Quantitative Evaluation of Stance as a Sensitive Biomarker of Postural Ataxia Development in Preclinical SCA1 Mutation Carriers.

Cerebellum 2024 March 17
The aim of this study was to determine the time between the first detection of postural control impairments and the evident manifestation of ataxia in preclinical SCA1 individuals. Twenty five preclinical SCA1 mutation carriers: 13 with estimated disease onset ≤ 6 years (SCA1 +) aged 27.8 ± 8.1 years; 12 with expected disease onset > 6 years (SCA1-) aged 26.6 ± 3.1 years and 26 age and sex matched healthy controls (HCs) underwent static posturography during 5 years of observation. The movements of the centre of feet pressure (COP) during quiet standing with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC) were quantified by calculating the mean radius (R), developed surface area (A) and mean COP movement velocity (V). Ataxia was evaluated by use of the Scale for Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA).SCA1 + exhibited significantly worse quality of stance with EC vs. SCA1- (p < 0.05 for V) and HCs (p < 0.001) even 5 to 6 years before estimated disease onset. There were no statistically significant differences between SCA1- and HCs. A slow increase in Cohen's d effect size was observed for VEO up to the clinical manifestation of ataxia. VEO and AEC recorded in preclinical SCA1 individuals correlated slightly but statistically significantly with SARA (r = 0.47).The study confirms that static posturography detects COP sway changes in SCA1 preclinical gene carriers even 5 to 6 years before estimated disease onset. The quantitative evaluation of stance in preclinical SCA is a sensitive biomarker for the monitoring of the disease progression and may be useful in clinical trials.

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