Is Machado Joseph disease a form of Parkinson's disease?
Machado Joseph disease, also called spinocerebellar ataxia 3, is an inherited movement disorder. It is not a form of Parkinson's disease. Some people with spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 have symptoms that are similar to Parkinson's disease, such as such as slowness of movement, stiffness of the limbs and trunk, trembling hands, and impaired balance and coordination. These affected individuals may be described as having "parkinsonism," which refers to any condition that causes Parkinson's-type abnormal movements.
Last updated: 8/22/2016
What is spinocerebellar ataxia 3?
Spinocerebellar ataxia 3 is a rare movement disorder that is characterized by ataxia, clumsiness and weakness in the arms and legs, spasticity, a staggering lurching walk easily mistaken for drunkenness, difficulty with speech and swallowing, and involuntary eye movements sometimes accompanied by double vision, and bulging eyes. Some patients have dystonia or symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease. Others have twitching of the face or tongue, neuropathy, or problems with urination and the autonomic nervous system. Symptoms can begin any time between childhood and about 70 years of age. Spinocerebellar ataxia 3 is a progressive disease, meaning that symptoms get worse with time. Life expectancy ranges from the mid-thirties for those with severe forms of the disorder to a normal life expectancy for those with mild forms. Spinocerebellar ataxia is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern and is caused by a trinucleotide repeat expansion in the ataxin-3gene (ATXN3).
Last updated: 10/23/2014
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