ATXN2 trinucleotide repeat length correlates with risk of ALS

William Sproviero, Aleksey Shatunov, Daniel Stahl, Maryam Shoai, Wouter van Rheenen, Ashley R. Jones, Safa Al-Sarraj, Peter M. Andersen, Nancy M. Bonini, Francesca L. Conforti, Philip Van Damme, Hussein Daoud, Maria Del Mar Amador, Isabella Fogh, Monica Forzan, Ben Gaastra, Cinzia Gellera, Aaron D. Gitler, John Hardy, Pietro FrattaVincenzo La Bella, Isabelle Le Ber, Tim Van Langenhove, Serena Lattante, Yi Chung Lee, Andrea Malaspina, Vincent Meininger, Stéphanie Millecamps, Richard Orrell, Rosa Rademakers, Wim Robberecht, Guy Rouleau, Owen A. Ross, Francois Salachas, Katie Sidle, Bradley N. Smith, Bing Wen Soong, Gianni Sorarù, Giovanni Stevanin, Edor Kabashi, Claire Troakes, Christine van Broeckhoven, Jan H. Veldink, Leonard H. van den Berg, Christopher E. Shaw, John F. Powell, Ammar Al-Chalabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We investigated a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the ATXN2 gene in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Two new case-control studies, a British dataset of 1474 ALS cases and 567 controls, and a Dutch dataset of 1328 ALS cases and 691 controls were analyzed. In addition, to increase power, we systematically searched PubMed for case-control studies published after 1 August 2010 that investigated the association between ATXN2 intermediate repeats and ALS. We conducted a meta-analysis of the new and existing studies for the relative risks of ATXN2 intermediate repeat alleles of between 24 and 34 CAG trinucleotide repeats and ALS. There was an overall increased risk of ALS for those carrying intermediate sized trinucleotide repeat alleles (odds ratio 3.06 [95% confidence interval 2.37–3.94]; p = 6 × 10−18), with an exponential relationship between repeat length and ALS risk for alleles of 29–32 repeats (R2 = 0.91, p = 0.0002). No relationship was seen for repeat length and age of onset or survival. In contrast to trinucleotide repeat diseases, intermediate ATXN2 trinucleotide repeat expansion in ALS does not predict age of onset but does predict disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178.e1-178.e9
JournalNeurobiology of aging
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • ALS
  • ATXN2
  • Age of onset
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • CAG
  • Expansion
  • Exponential risk
  • Intermediate expansion
  • Risk
  • SCA2
  • Trinucleotide repeat
  • Triplet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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