In Japan, multiple system atrophy (MSA) accounts for 40% of all spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) and hereditary disorders account for 30%. Among the latter, autosomal dominant disorders are common and recessive ataxias are rare. Although the frequency of SCA genotypes differs between geographic regions throughout Japan, SCA6, SCA3/MJD, and DRPLA are the three major disorders, while SCA7, SCA8, SCA10, SCA12, and SCA17 are infrequent or almost undetected. SCA1 predominantly occurs in the northern part of Japan. Overall, 20–40% of dominant SCAs are due to unknown mutations. From this cluster, pure cerebellar ataxias linked with the SCA4, SCA14, and SCA16 locus have been isolated. Among the recessive SCAs, patients with AVED and EAOH have been detected. However, FRDA associated with GAA repeat expansion in the frataxin gene has not been reported so far.
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