Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatr Neurol. 2008 Oct;39(4):223-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2008.07.013.

Leigh and Leigh-like syndrome in children and adults.

Author information

  • 1Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Vienna, Austria.


Leigh syndrome (also termed subacute, necrotizing encephalopathy) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by almost identical brain changes, e.g., focal, bilaterally symmetric lesions, particularly in the basal ganglia, thalamus, and brainstem, but with considerable clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Clinically, Leigh syndrome is characterized by a wide variety of abnormalities, from severe neurologic problems to a near absence of abnormalities. Most frequently the central nervous system is affected, with psychomotor retardation, seizures, nystagmus, ophthalmoparesis, optic atrophy, ataxia, dystonia, or respiratory failure. Some patients also present with peripheral nervous system involvement, including polyneuropathy or myopathy, or non-neurologic abnormalities, e.g., diabetes, short stature, hypertrichosis, cardiomyopathy, anemia, renal failure, vomiting, or diarrhea (Leigh-like syndrome). In the majority of cases, onset is in early childhood, but in a small number of cases, adults are affected. In the majority of cases, dysfunction of the respiratory chain (particularly complexes I, II, IV, or V), of coenzyme Q, or of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex are responsible for the disease. Associated mutations affect genes of the mitochondrial or nuclear genome. Leigh syndrome and Leigh-like syndrome are the mitochondrial disorders with the largest genetic heterogeneity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk