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MACHADO JOSEPH DISEASE-MJD


SYMPTOMS OF MACHADO JOSEPH DISEASE

*weakness in the arms and legs
*spasticity
*staggering, lurching gait,easily mistaken for drunkenness
*difficulty with speech and swallowing
*involuntary eye movements
*double vision
*frequent urination

Symptoms most commonly begin between the ages of 15 and 40, but may appear earlier or much later in life. Progression may be fast or slow, and life expectancy ranges from 10-30 years after the disease begins. Neurologists have classified MJD into three types, depending on age at onset and characteristic symptoms.

HOW IS MACHADO-JOSEPH DISEASE INHERITED?

Machado Joseph Disease is an autosomal dominant disorder. This means that each child of an affected parent has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the defective gene. MJD does not skip generations, but people at risk who escape the disease will not pass it on to their children or future generations. As with any inherited disorder, MJD is not contagious and cannot be "caught" by people who are not at risk.

Prepared by
Office of Scientific and Health Reports
National Institute of Neurological and
Communicative Disorders and Stroke
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

WHERE ARE FAMILIES FOUND WITH MACHADO JOSEPH DISEASE?

It was first thought that MJD was only found in individuals of Portuguese ancestry, but today MJD is world-wide. MJD can be found in the United States,Azores Islands, Portugal, Brazil,France, Germany, England, Canada, Japan, China, Italy, India, Angola, Spain, and Israel. MJD is being discovered in other parts of the world as well.