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MRI CNS Atrophy Pattern and the Etiologies of Progressive Ataxias

MRI shows the three archetypal patterns of CNS volume loss underlying progressive ataxias in vivo, namely spinal atrophy (SA), cortical cerebellar atrophy (CCA) and olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA). The MRI-based CNS atrophy pattern was reviewed in 128 progressive ataxias. A CNS atrophy pattern was identified in 91 conditions: SA in Friedreich's ataxia, CCA in 5 acquired and 72 (24 dominant, 47 recessive,1 X-linked) inherited ataxias, OPCA in Multi-System Atrophy and 12 (9 dominant, 2 recessive,1 X-linked) inherited ataxias. The MRI-based CNS atrophy pattern may be useful for genetic assessment, identification of shared cellular targets, repurposing therapies or the enlargement of drug indications in progressive ataxias.

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