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Ataxias with autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, X-linked, or mitochondrial forms of inheritance are present on a worldwide basis. Machado-Joseph disease (SCA3) (autosomal dominant) and Friedreich’s ataxia (autosomal recessive) are the most common types in most populations. Mutation markers are now commercially available to identify carriers at risk in their families, which allows for precise identification of the genetic mutation for correct diagnosis and also for family planning. Identification of positive mutation carriers with family planning has allowed for early detection of asymptomatic preclinical disease to reduce or eliminate the inherited form of ataxia in specific families on a global, worldwide basis.


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