Article| Volume 24, ISSUE 12, P2453-2463, December 2022

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Genetic and clinical landscape of childhood cerebellar hypoplasia and atrophy

Published:October 28, 2022DOI:



      Cerebellar hypoplasia and atrophy (CBHA) in children is an extremely heterogeneous group of disorders, but few comprehensive genetic studies have been reported. Comprehensive genetic analysis of CBHA patients may help differentiating atrophy and hypoplasia and potentially improve their prognostic aspects.


      Patients with CBHA in 176 families were genetically examined using exome sequencing. Patients with disease-causing variants were clinically evaluated.


      Disease-causing variants were identified in 96 of the 176 families (54.5%). After excluding 6 families, 48 patients from 42 families were categorized as having syndromic associations with CBHA, whereas the remaining 51 patients from 48 families had isolated CBHA. In 51 patients, 26 aberrant genes were identified, of which, 20 (76.9%) caused disease in 1 family each. The most prevalent genes were CACNA1A, ITPR1, and KIF1A. Of the 26 aberrant genes, 21 and 1 were functionally annotated to atrophy and hypoplasia, respectively. CBHA+S was more clinically severe than CBHA–S. Notably, ARG1 and FOLR1 variants were identified in 2 families, leading to medical treatments.


      A wide genetic and clinical diversity of CBHA was revealed through exome sequencing in this cohort, which highlights the importance of comprehensive genetic analyses. Furthermore, molecular-based treatment was available for 2 families.


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