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Ann Neurol. 1992 Apr;31(4):379-84.

Bilateral striopallidodentate calcinosis: cerebrospinal fluid, imaging, and electrophysiological studies.

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Division of Neurology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield 62794-9230.


We report the genetic, clinical, electrophysiological, and imaging studies in a family with bilateral striopallidodentate calcinosis (Fahr's disease). The intracerebral calcium deposits occurred before onset of the symptoms in the third decade of life. Progressive neurological deterioration occurred in the fifth decade of life in the proband. Cerebrospinal fluid homocarnosine, a central nervous system-specific peptide, was increased twofold in patients with autosomal dominant bilateral stripallidodentate calcinosis; in sporadic cases, there was no detectable homocarnosine and a decreased level of histidine. With advancing age, the amount of calcification increases, but it has not been determined if a critical amount must be reached before symptoms occur. Computerized tomography is superior to magnetic resonance imaging for radiological diagnosis. Despite diffuse striatal calcification, striatal 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa uptake did not reveal any difference between patients and control subjects, from which we infer persisting integrity of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway.

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