A familial form of pallidoluysionigral degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with divergent clinical presentations

Carlos Portera-Cailliau, Carsten Russ, Robert H. Brown, Andrew E. Budson, Jean Paul Vonsattel, Rebecca D. Folkerth, Joseph C. Corbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a family with a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) but with unusual neuropathologic features that include pallidoluysionigral degeneration. The proband presented with primary progressive aphasia that evolved into mutism. He subsequently developed dementia with mild disinhibition and parkinsonism and late in the disease showed evidence of motor neuron disease. Two other cases (the proband's mother and maternal uncle) had features of ALS exclusively. All 3 had a young onset (fourth decade) and rapid clinical course, with average time from onset of symptoms to death of 4 years. Postmortem neuropathologic examination of the proband and his uncle showed ALS changes and extensive pallidoluysionigral degeneration without neurofibrillary tangles, ubiquitin inclusions, or detectable abnormalities in the dentate nucleus of the cerebellum. Although this exceptional combination of neuropathologic features has been described in rare cases of sporadic ALS-FTD, no pedigrees have ever been reported. In 2 affected members of this family, we failed to identify mutations in genes associated with weakness, movement disorders, or dementia, including ALS, FTD, selected spinocerebellar ataxias, and Huntington disease. Thus, this disorder may represent a novel autosomal dominantly inherited and rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder with a spectrum of clinical presentations but common neuropathologic features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-659
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Volume66
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • ALS-FTD
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Tau
  • Ubiquitin

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