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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A familial syndrome of congenital cataract, mental impairment, and dentate gyrus atrophy.

We present a family with congenital cataract with, in some cases, mental retardation and emotional instability, but intellectual deterioration in all affected members. The latter was accompanied by psychosis in some. The inheritance is most likely autosomal dominant, affecting two generations and consisting of a congenitally blind parent and 6 of 11 of her offspring. In addition to these features, some affected individuals had dysphagia and movement disorder, especially choreiform movements. They all showed small body mass, due possibly to poor nutrition from dysphagia. The pathological findings were unique, demonstrating selective atrophy of the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus. There was selective expression in paraffin-embedded sections of alpha B-crystallin (CRYA2) in oligodendroglia in all areas of the nervous system examined. alpha B-Crystallin is a major optic lens protein but also a heat shock protein and molecular chaperone found in brain and a number of other tissues. Because of the association of congenital cataract and the accumulation in oligodendroglia of alpha B-crystallin, the gene for this protein was sequenced for possible mutation. No mutation was found indicating other genetic locus. This family appears to have a newly recognized genetic disorder.[1]


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