Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
The pathophysiology of white matter involvement in dentatorubropallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is controversial. Moreover, the clinical repercussions and evolution of these lesions have not been well documented.
To describe a case of DRPLA with severe cerebellar white matter involvement.
A 62-year-old woman with DRPLA.
When the genetic diagnosis was made, the patient manifested severe ataxia, slight dysarthria, and subcortical cognitive impairment. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging showed atrophy of the cerebellum and brainstem and moderate high-intensity signal alterations in the periventricular cerebral white matter in T2-weighted sequences. In the following 5 years, she developed uncontrolled head movements associated with severe bruxism and tetraparesis, and became deeply demented. New magnetic resonance imaging showed severe diffuse cerebral white matter alterations in T2 sequences with only slight progression of brainstem and cerebellar atrophy. After her death at 67 years of age, the autopsy study showed diffuse myelin pallor, axonal preservation, and reactive astrogliosis in the cerebral white matter, with only mild atherosclerotic changes, and moderate neuronal loss in the cerebellum and brainstem.
Leukoencephalopathy could be a prominent finding in some patients with DRPLA, explaining, at least in part, their clinical evolution. In our case, the disproportion between the severity of white matter damage and vascular changes does not support a cardinal role for ischemic mechanisms in leukoencephalopathy.
Muñoz E, Campdelacreu J, Ferrer I, et al. Severe Cerebral White Matter Involvement in a Case of Dentatorubropallidoluysian Atrophy Studied at Autopsy. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(6):946–949. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.6.946
Create a personal account or sign in to: