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August 1981

Atrial Myxoma as a Cause of Progressive Dementia

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(8):533. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510080095019

Atrial myxoma can appear with a broad array of systemic and/or neurologic symptoms. This article describes a previously unrecognized initial appearance: progressive multipleinfarct dementia and seizure disorder. This case is reported because of its rarity and because of the potential for therapy if clinically recognized.

REPORT OF A CASE  An 82-year-old man was examined at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center for a one-year history of progressive mental decline. His symptoms began with progressive loss of recent memory, irritability, and narrowing of his range of interests. When driving his car in familiar surroundings, he became lost. His speech output diminished, and he finally was noticed to be disoriented. Eight months after his initial symptoms appeared, he began experiencing brief seizures characterized by stereotyped lapses in contact with his surroundings. On one occasion such an episode progressed to a major motor seizure for which phenytoin sodium was prescribed. He also

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