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Eur J Ophthalmol. 2002 Jul-Aug;12(4):253-61.

Clinical, genetic and histopathologic findings in two siblings with muscle-eye-brain disease.

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Cole Eye institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



We present the clinical, genetic and histopathologic findings in two siblings with Muscle-Eye-Brain Disease (MEB-D), an autosomal recessive disease characterized by mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, retinal hypoplasia and brain abnormalities.


Clinical, histopathologic and gene mapping studies of a family with two normal and two children with MEB-D.


Two siblings presented in the first few months of life with developmental delay, hypotonia, and strabismus. MRI of the brain showed colpocephaly, pontine and cerebellar atrophy, and diffuse white matter disease. Both patients were blind and had high myopia, strabismus, and retinal and optic nerve abnormalities. The older boy had glaucoma. Both children died from uncontrolled seizures. There was retinal, choroidal and RPE atrophy and optic nerve hypoplasia on ocular histopathology. Both patients shared the same parental haplotypes at the MEB locus on chromosome 1p, while an unaffected sibling did not, indicating possible linkage to the MEB locus.


Patients with MEB-D have severe visual impairment from retinal and optic nerve hypoplasia. High myopia appears to be a consistent finding. The ocular manifestations of MEB-D appear to be distinct from those of patients with Walker-Warburg syndrome.

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