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Neurol Sci. 2002 Dec;23(5):243-5.

Unusual association of sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy and motor neuron disease.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Istituto Nazionale Neurologico Carlo Besta, Via Celoria 11, I-20133 Milan, Italy.


Sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a neurodegenerative disorder that presents a wide clinical spectrum. Motor neuron disease (MND) is characterized by a selective degeneration of motor neurons. A 60-year-old man developed slurred speech and unsteadiness of gait. He had also noticed difficulty in holding his head upright and shoulder weakness. The disease had a rapid progression. At the age of 63 years, magnetic resonance imaging supported a diagnosis of OPCA, and a diagnosis of MND was suggested by clinical and electrophysiological findings. He also had upward gaze palsy. A muscular biopsy showed sporadic ragged red and Cox deficient fibers. The present case could define a unique disorder, as the occasional occurrence of two degenerative disorders appears unlikely.

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