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No To Hattatsu. 1999 Mar;31(2):171-6.

[Connatal type of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease: a case report].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Pediatrics, Osaka University.


Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a hereditary disorder with myelin dysplasia in the central nervous system. The connatal type is a more severe form compared to the classical type and shows developmental arrest or deterioration, nystagmus, spasticity, and/or convulsions in the neonatal period. A 1 1/4-year-old Japanese boy diagnosed as connatal type PMD is reported here. Soon after his birth, he demonstrated horizontal and rotatory nystagmus and opisthotonic posture. At the age of 10 months, he had difficulty in feeding. At the age of 1 year, he presented more severe opisthotonic posture and frequent vomiting. He showed deterioration in gross motor development. His chromosome analysis showed a normal male karyotype. Electroencephalogram did not show a sleep spindle. Auditory evoked brainstem responses (ABR) showed only wave I on both sides. Visual evoked potentials (VEP) showed prolongation of latencies. These results were compatible with PMD. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated in the white matter of cerebrum and brainstem no high intensities on T1-weighted images and diffuse high intensities on T2-weighted images. Such absence of myelination including the brainstem was characteristic to the connatal type PMD. The diffuse disturbance of myelination appeared to correlate with the severity of clinical symptoms.

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