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Ann Neurol. 2001 Mar;49(3):384-92.

McLeod syndrome: a novel mutation, predominant psychiatric manifestations, and distinct striatal imaging findings.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University Hospital Z├╝rich, Switzerland. hans.jung@nos.usz.ch


The McLeod syndrome is an X-linked disorder caused by mutations of the XK gene encoding the XK protein. The syndrome is characterized by absent Kx erythrocyte antigen, weak expression of Kell blood group system antigens, and acanthocytosis. In some allelic variants, elevated creatine kinase, myopathy, neurogenic muscle atrophy, and progressive chorea are found. We describe a family with a novel point mutation in the XK gene consisting of a C to T base transition at nucleotide position 977, introducing a stop codon. Among seven affected males, five manifested with psychiatric disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, or personality disorder, but only two presented with chorea Positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance volumetry revealed reduced striatal 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose (FDG) uptake and diminished volumes of the caudate nucleus and putamen that correlated with disease duration. In contrast, none of 12 female mutation carriers showed psychiatric or movement disorders. However, a semidominant effect of the mutation was suggested by erythrocyte and blood group mosaicism and reduced striatal FDG uptake without structural abnormalities. Therefore, patients with psychiatric signs or symptoms segregating in an X-linked trait should be examined for acanthocytosis and Kell/Kx blood group serology.

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