Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian Atrophy Repeat Expansion Testing



DRPLA is a progressive autosomal dominantly-inherited disorder characterised by ataxia, choreoathetosis and dementia in adults and intellectual deterioration, behavioural changes, myoclonus and epilepsy in children. The choreic presentation is clinically similar to Huntington disease (HD) whilst the ataxic presentation overlaps with the spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs).

DRPLA has been reported to occur predominantly in the Japanese population; however, molecularly confirmed DRPLA has been reported in other populations including European and North and South American. DRPLA is caused by a CAG triplet repeat expansion in exon 5 of the ATN1 gene, resulting in neuronal intranuclear inclusions, variable neuronal loss and astrocytosis in the globus pallidus, dentate and red nuclei.

Testing at WRGL

Fluorescent PCR-based assays are used to perform this testing. The results can be visualised using GeneMarker software following fragment analysis on a genetic analyser. The possibility of a very large expansion refractory to detection by standard methodology is excluded by the use of a triplet-primed PCR assay when patients are apparently homozygous for a normal allele. Positive and negative controls are included in each assay.

Cost, Sample Requirements & Turnaround Times

Test Cost NZD Sample requirements Turnaround time
ATN1 CAG repeat expansion test $200 4ml of whole blood in EDTA (lavender top) 2 - 4 weeks
For urgent cases please contact the laboratory

Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) testing


Wellington Regional Genetics Laboratory (WRGL) provides a comprehensive, integrated diagnostic cytogenetic and molecular genetic testing service

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(04) 918-5352

Please note that genetic test results are only released directly to the referring clinician and not to patients