‡: Deceased July 16, 2014
Autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias comprise many types of diseases. The most frequent autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias are Friedreich ataxia, but other types are relatively rare. We encountered a consanguineous family with two cases of late-onset cerebellar ataxia with neuropathy. We performed whole-exome sequencing in one patient and confirmed by Sanger sequencing in other family members. Neurological examination revealed cerebellar ataxia, hand tremor, and neck dystonia, distal muscle wasting, and diminished tendon reflexes. The patients had no conjunctival telangiectasia or immunodeficiency. Blood examination revealed slightly elevated α-fetoprotein. Brain MRI demonstrated marked cerebellar atrophy and mild brainstem atrophy. The electrophysiologic study and nerve biopsy showed axonal neuropathy. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a novel homozygous missense variant (NM_000051.3: c.496G > C) in the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated gene. This homozygous variant was found in another patient, co-segregated within the family members—this variant results in aberrant splicing (skipping exon 5) on RT-PCR analysis. We identified the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated variant in an adult, late-onset autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias family. We should consider ataxia-telangiectasia even in late-onset autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxias without telangiectasia or immunodeficiency.