To elucidate changes in medical treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in Japan, we analyzed the clinical courses and causes of death of inpatients with DMD registered in the muscular dystrophy ward database of 27 hospitals in Japan specializing in muscular dystrophy treatment since 1999. The total number of hospitalized cases in 1999 was 873, which gradually reduced to 733 in 2012. The mean age of DMD patients in 1999 was 23.6 years old, while that was 30.1 years old in 2012, with patients 40 years and older accounting for 94 cases in the latest year. The respirator dependent rate gradually increased from 58.6% in 1999 to 86.1% in 2012. Artificial respiration therapy was introduced earlier in more recent years and the mean age in recent years was shown to be 17.2 years old. The oral nutritional supply rate in 1999 was 95.1%, which fell to 66.8% in 2012, while gastrostomy feeding gradually increased to 129 cases in 2012. The rate of clinical diagnosis of DMD was 52.3% in 1999 and decreased to 43.7% in 2012, which showed progress towards more accurate diagnosis of DMD. From 2000 to 2012, 521 deaths were reported, with approximately half of the causes heart related, followed by respiratory related. The mean age of death gradually increased to 32.4 years old in 2012 from 26.7 years old in 2000. The mean age of survival of all DMD patients was 37.5 years old. Progress in multidisciplinary medical care for respiratory failure, cardiomyopathy, nutritional problems, and other related factors has extended the lifespan of DMD patients.
From summer to autumn, we noted the occurrence of a small epidemic of aseptic meningitis in adults. Over the last 10 years, we have encountered 203 male (mean age, 34.6 ± 15.0 years) and 157 female (mean age, 35.6 ± 16.3 years) patients with aseptic meningitis. We could identify the causative virus in 17 (81%) of 21 cases during the abovementioned months in 2012. Identification rates of the virus in the stool, cerebrospinal fluid, throat swab, and serum samples were 71%, 67%, 42%, and 5%, respectively. The etiological viruses included enteroviruses in all cases, such as echovirus type 9 (E9) in 9 cases, echovirus type 6 (E6) in 4 cases, coxsackievirus type A9 in 1 case, and unknown type of enterovirus in 3 cases. No differences in the clinical manifestations and laboratory findings were noted between E9 meningitis and E6 meningitis. In addition, we countered 14 cases of mumps meningitis, 7 cases of varicella-zoster virus meningitis and 6 cases of herpes simplex meningitis during the last 10 years; these cases did not occur as an epidemic, but occurred sporadically. Cases of mumps meningitis were noted in all seasons, and cases of varicella-zoster virus meningitis were only noted from summer to winter. The etiology of epidemic aseptic meningitis in adults could be mainly due to enterovirus infection, and its prognosis was benign.
A 54-year-old female was admitted to our hospital because of the Raynaud phenomenon and muscle weakness of the upper limbs. The neurological findings showed somatic and proximal limb weakness. Laboratory studies showed a high serum creatine kinase level. Computerized tomography (CT) revealed enlargement of the thymus. A muscle biopsy showed a small number of degenerating and regenerating fibers but no inflammatory infiltrations. At first, she was initially treated with a three-day course of intravenous methylprednisolone (1 g/day). However, the weakness progressed and the serum creatine kinase level remained high. She was subsequently treated with a combination of tacrolimus (3 mg/day) and prednisolone, but showed no any improvement of the muscle weakness. Following additional treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin, she showed improvement in her muscle weakness. Further, anti-signal recognition particle antibodies were identified after treatment. There have been no previous reports of myopathy with antibodies against the signal recognition particle and enlargement of the thymus, so we herein report the details of this unique case.
A 74-year-old, right handed man, developed insidiously with levitation and clumsiness of the right upper limb. His right arm tended to levitate spontaneously, when he was examined. He could put the elevated arm down on command, while the arm resumed to antigravity posture when his attention was diverted. His right arm also exhibited unwilled elevation when performing complex finger movements on the right side. He had a feeling of strangeness of the elevated limb, especially with the eyes closed. In addition to asymmetric limb-kinetic apraxia, combined sensations such as stereognosis were disturbed on the right side. Brain MRI showed high signal lesions predominantly in the left cerebral cortices and basal ganglia. SPECT with 123I-IMP revealed asymmetric hypoperfusion, predominantly in the left medial frontal and parietal regions. Two months after the onset, levitation of the arm gradually disappeared, with the development of rapidly progressive dementia, frontal signs, dystonia and generalized myoclonus. The diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was made based on the clinical features and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers. The early manifestation of the patient mimicked corticobasal degeneration which presents with arm levitation or alien hand syndrome. It is suggested that CJD can represent involuntary movements with higher brain dysfunction resembling corticobasal degeneration at the early stage of the illness. Although the underlying mechanism of arm levitation is still unknown, frontal disinhibition and parietal cortical sensory disturbance may contribute to the development of involuntary arm levitation in our patient.
A 38-year-old man was admitted to our hospital with neck pain, dysesthesia of both hands, and weakness of the left upper limb. He had been diagnosed with a chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV) at the age of 34 and had undergone umbilical cord blood transplantation at the age of 37. MRI of the spinal cord revealed an intramedullary hyperintense lesion on T2-weighted images with gadolinium enhancement. Because his laboratory tests revealed proliferation of CD19+ lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, and EBV DNA was detected in both peripheral blood and CSF, he was diagnosed as having post-transplant EBV associated lymphoproliferative disease. However, chemotherapy did not alleviate his symptoms. At a later time, quantitative chimerism analysis of his CSF showed a higher proportion of lymphocytes that had originated from the recipient. Finally, he was diagnosed as having a recurrence of CAEBV in the central nervous system, and his symptoms were restored by intrathecal chemotherapy (methotrexate, cytosine arabinoside, and prednisolone). Quantitative chimerism analysis of CSF was useful for diagnosing the recurrence of CAEBV in the central nervous system.
A 67-year-old woman was admitted for headache. The initial MRI showed a gadolinium-enhanced lesion in the prepontine area. Initial and repeated CSF examinations were negative for the fungal infection. Since the enhanced lesion expanded in the cisterns, and showed tumor-like appearance, brain biopsy was performed at 3 months from her first admission. Histological studies revealed filamentous fungal infection probably caused by the pseudallescheria boydii. Intrathecal miconazole injection through the Ommaya reservoir successfully ameliorated patient’s symptoms and the MRI findings. Primary cisternal fungal infection showing tumor-like expansion typically fails to demonstrate its supportive findings by the CSF examination. Therefore, histopathological assessment after brain biopsy should be considered in cases that are not conclusive by means of conventional laboratory examinations.
A 45-year-old man noted a tendency to fall to the left side on standing following headache and vomiting. Neurological findings were unremarkable except for truncal lateropulsion to the left side. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a small infarct in the left inferolateral part of medulla. Clinical and imaging findings suggested vertebral artery dissection as the cause of stroke. On hospital day 6, the patient developed decreased pain and temperature sensation in the right side below T10 sensory level and decreased sweating on the left side of the face with miosis of the left pupil. Brain MRI revealed an expanded lesion of the left inferolateral part of medulla. In our patient, the involvement of the spinocerebellar tract and the lateral spinothalamic tract likely contributed to the development of truncal lateropulsion and sensory disturbance below thoracic levels, respectively. Our case is clinically important in understanding a correlation between clinical symptoms and lateral medullary lesions.
A 51-year-old man complained of continuous pain lasting about 3 weeks around his forehead and left orbit—locations where pain may indicate conjunctival injection and lacrimation. Upon arrival to our hospital, his neurological examination was normal, and brain MRI showed no abnormality. The headache disappeared with indomethacin treatment (75 mg/day), and a diagnosis of hemicrania continua (HC) was established according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition. The headache returned after reducing the dose of indomethacin. After adding pregabalin (150 mg/day) to his treatment regimen, we could reduce the dose of indomethacin from 75 mg/day to 25 mg/day, which the patient tolerated well. Although HC is one of the indomethacin-responsive headaches, continuous administration can cause side effects including gastrointestinal disorders. Such side effects can decrease the tolerability of indomethacin, and may eventually lead to its reduction or discontinuation. Pregabalin can be an alternative to indomethacin for treating HC.
This report describes a 72-year-old woman presenting MPO-ANCA-associated hypertrophic pachymeningitis and venous thrombosis. Five years prior, positive MPO-ANCA and renal dysfunction had been indicated. At that time, oral steroids and tacrolimus were given to treat systemic vasculitis. During the course of the disease, she repeated otitis media. Saddle nose appeared. She was suspected of having localized type granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). She was hospitalized because of consciousness disturbance and was diagnosed as having MPO-ANCA-associated hypertrophic pachymenigitis and venous thrombosis. Brain MRI detected thick dura mater with abnormal enhancement, predominantly on the right cerebral hemisphere, and tentorium cerebella partially along with the cerebral sulci. MRI revealed vasogenic brain edema lesions in the right occipital, parietal, and temporal lobes and cytotoxic edema lesions in the right parietal lobe and centrum semiovale. MR venography revealed stenosis of the venous sinus including confluence of sinuses, straight sinus, and right transverse sinus. Subsequent treatment with corticosteroids, an immunosuppressant, and an anticoagulant led to recovery. No patient with MPO-ANCA-associated hypertrophic pachymenigitis and venous thrombosis that developed alternation of consciousness has ever been reported. This is therefore regarded as a rare case.