We report lower urinary tract dysfunction and neuropathological findings of the neural circuits controlling micturition in the patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis having L106V mutation in the SOD1 gene. Ten of 20 patients showed lower urinary tract dysfunction and 5 patients developed within 1 year after the onset of weakness. In 8 patients with an artificial respirator, 6 patients showed lower urinary tract dysfunction. Lower urinary tract dysfunction and respiratory failure requiring an artificial respirator occurred simultaneously in 3 patients. Neuronal loss and gliosis were observed in the neural circuits controlling micturition, such as frontal lobe, thalamus, hypothalamus, striatum, periaqueductal gray, ascending spinal tract, lateral corticospinal tract, intermediolateral nucleus and Onufrowicz’ nucleus. Lower urinary tract dysfunction, especially storage symptoms, developed about 1 year after the onset of weakness, and the dysfunction occurred simultaneously with artificial respirator use in the patients.
A 56-year-old man, who presented with 6 years history of difficulty in walking, was diagnosed as having vascular parkinsonism on the basis of the clinical findings of parkinsonism, pyramidal sign and the brain MRI findings of multiple lacunar infarction. Although he did not have hypertension, he had hyperhomocysteinemia and homozygous methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene variant (C677T) as risk factors for ischemic stroke. Recent studies have shown that hyperhomocysteinemia and MTHFR gene variant are associated with small-vessel disease, suggesting that these risk factors may underlie vascular parkinsonism, particularly in patients lacking hypertension and in those with a relatively younger age at onset of this disease.
A 65-year-old man with Takayasu arteritis in a stable condition was admitted to our hospital because of rapid progressive dementia. Brain FLAIR/T2-weighted magnetic resonance images revealed high signal intensity in the diffuse subcortical white matter. John Cunningham virus (JCV) genome in cerebrospinal fluid was detected by polymerase chain reaction. Finally, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy was diagnosed definitely by brain biopsy. In addition, the patient was found to be complicated by chronic/smoldering adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. The administration of mefloquine with mirtazapine was early started within two months after the onset. However, the combination treatment led to no improvement in symptoms and lesion size. The patient died six months after the onset. Therefore, this case suggested that both of HTLV-I infection and B cell abnormalities due to Takasasu arteritis impaired the therapeutic effect.
We report a 43-year-old man experienced numbness in the distal portion of both legs, which progressed over following two months. Neurological examination showed hypesthesia and muscle weakness in the distal portion of both legs. No abnormal findings were seen on blood test and whole-body contrast enhanced computed tomography (CT). Histopathological findings of the sural nerve and the peroneus brevis muscle showed decreased myelinated nerve fibers with scattered myelin ovoids, vascular occlusion in the epineurium, and inflammatory cell around the arteriole in the muscle bundle. These findings suggested falling in the category as non-systemic vasculitic neuropathy (NSVN). 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) revealed the increase of FDG uptake in the rectum. Inflammatory cell infiltration was found around the arteriole with fibrinoid necrosis in the histopathological specimen of the rectal mucosal biopsy. This result represented the diagnosis as systemic vasculitis. The diagnosis of NSVN may depend on the sensitivity of diagnostic procedure, and 18F-FDG PET CT might be a useful tool to detect small or medium-sized vasculitis.
A 50-year-old man was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 43 years. The patient was hospitalized because of frozen gait and tendency to fall and showed abnormal postures of marked antecollis and stooped posture. The angle of the abnormal posture dramatically fluctuated, and the fluctuation coincided with the motor symptoms over the course of a 24-hour period. Treatment with rotigotine was started, and diurnal fluctuations in the gait disorder and abnormal posture were recorded. The time recorded in the Timed Up & Go test decreased after treatment with rotigotine in a dose-dependent manner, particularly early in the morning. The angle of the abnormal posture improved with a 4 mg/24 hr dose of rotigotine but worsened with a dose of 8 mg/24 hr. Because abnormal posture is a known side effect of dopamine agonists such as rotigotine, it is possible that high-dose rotigotine worsened the abnormal posture, whereas the low-dose improved the abnormal posture because of undertreatment. This case highlights the importance of observing the diurnal fluctuation in abnormal posture for developing a strategy for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
A 64-year-old man developed right arm weakness and dysarthria, and was admitted to our hospital. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed a high intensity area in the frontal lobe. T2*-weighted images showed multiple spotty low intensity lesions in bilateral cerebral hemispheres, mimicking cerebral microbleeds. Cerebral angiography showed multiple aneurysms in the anterior, middle, posterior cerebral arteries and cerebellar arteries. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a floating structure in the left atrial chamber, indicating cardiac myxoma. We diagnosed cardioembolic ischemic stroke due to left atrial myxoma. Cardiac surgery for excision of a left atrial myxoma was performed on the 3rd hospital day. Multiple aneurysms should be taken into account for differential diagnosis in patients with cardiac myxoma and with atypical spotty low intensity on T2*-weighted images.
A 73-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital due to a decreased conscious level and a high fever. Six days before her admission, she felt transient numbness in her right lower limb. Brain MRI taken by her local doctor revealed only right parietal cortex lesions. She was diagnosed with transient ischemic attack and started on anti-platelet therapy. One day before her admission, she became drowsy, and left-side weakness developed. She was admitted to a community hospital for treating stroke. On the next day, she was referred to our hospital because of a high fever. Our brain MRI showed new lesions in her right temporal lobe. She had no stroke risk factors, and embolic sources were not detected. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis detected herpes simplex virus DNA. She was diagnosed with herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). HSE is common encephalitis which develops fever, headache and alteration in mental status. It often involves temporal lobe, but extratemporal lesions alone are not uncommon. Diffusion-weighted images (DWI) of brain are of importance to differentiate HSE from stroke. When it is questionable to diagnose with stroke for patients with cerebral cortex lesions, they must be monitored with close observation. There is the possibility of initial presentation of HSE in that situation even if patients have no typical symptoms.
We report the case of a 17-year-old woman with paroxysmal sympathetic storm (PSS), which was successfully treated with clonidine hydrochloride. The patient was hospitalized for acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in June 2006. Dysphagia led to severe aspiration pneumonia in September 2006, and she suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. She survived but had severe brain damage, with her brain MRI showing diffuse hypoxic encephalopathy. From October 2006, she had several episodes of profound tachypnea (> 60/min), tachycardia (160 to 170 beats/min), hypertension (> 140 mmHg), hyperthermia (39°C), and decerebrate posturing. During the attacks, the levels of catecholamines in the patient’s blood and urine were markedly elevated. Accordingly, a diagnosis of PSS associated with hypoxic encephalopathy was made. Her PSS clearly improved after the administration of clonidine hydrochloride (900 μg/day). This case suggests that clonidine hydrochloride, an α2 blocker, may be one therapeutic option for PSS.
A 46-year-old woman presenting to the Department of Hematology with swelling of the mandibular lymph nodes was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) in June 2013. The patient went into complete remission in December 2013 with chemotherapy; however, she was re-evaluated because of mental confusion during May 2014. In addition to the memory disturbances, elevated cerebrospinal fluid cell count and protein were noted. Fluid attenuated inversion recovery cranial magnetic resonance imaging revealed multiple hyperintense areas in both the mammillary bodies and thalamus accompanied by contrast-enhancing in some areas. The diagnosis of recurrent AITL was made based on the brain biopsy. AITL recurrence in the cranium should be considered in patients exhibiting central nervous system symptoms although such recurrences have not been reported previously.
A 63-year-old man was admitted to our hospital because of convulsive seizures. Radiological examinations revealed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in the anterior part of the superior sagittal sinus. He had marked hyperhomocysteinemia (93.5 nmol/ml) due to combined deficiencies of folate and vitamin B12. He was T/T homozygous for methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism. He received a supplement therapy of vitamins. First, he was administered folate orally. After 3 months, the serum level of homocysteine decreased to 22.6 nmol/ml (an 86% reduction), but was still above the normal level. Next, an additional supplement therapy of vitamin B12 lowered the homocysteine level to normal (12.3 nmol/ml) after 4 months. These results showed that the increase of homocysteine levels in this patient was mainly caused by the deficiency of folate. Additionally, acquired risk factors like vitamin deficiencies increased the level of serum homocysteine to almost 100 nmol/ml.