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Mov Disord. 1994 May;9(3):297-304.

The neuropathological features of neuroacanthocytosis.

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  • 1University Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, England.


In this article we describe the neuropathological changes in three patients with neuroacanthocytosis and review the neuropathology of the other eight cases reported in the literature. Macroscopically the brains showed enlargement of the lateral ventricles, especially the frontal horns. The most severely and consistently affected brain areas were the caudate nucleus and putamen, which were atrophic and showed by light microscopy marked neuronal loss and gliosis. Small and medium-sized striatal neurons were particularly depleted. The globus pallidus was almost as severely involved as the striatum. In some cases the thalamus, substantia nigra, and anterior horns of the spinal cord showed pathology, mainly neuronal loss and mild gliosis. Brain areas with no pathology included the subthalamic nucleus, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, pons, and medulla. The preservation of these areas may help in the neuropathological distinction of neuroacanthocytosis from Huntington's disease.

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