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Acta Neurol Scand. 2005 Jul;112(1):57-63.

Phenotypic variability in Kennedy's disease: implication of the early diagnostic features.

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Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea.



The clinical diagnosis of Kennedy's disease (KD) is not easy when the typical manifestations are lacking, especially in early stage of the disease. In our study, we tried to identify the relative frequency of common clinical features and early symptoms in KD.


Eighteen Korean patients with KD were included. Clinical findings were subdivided into two parts: the age at onset of each clinical symptoms and characteristic signs on investigations. With detailed clinical examinations, the serum creatine kinase (CK) level, electrophysiologic study and DNA analysis were performed and analyzed in detail.


In KD, the most consistent clinical findings at evaluations included perioral fasciculation with variable bulbar paresis, limb weakness with wasting, hyporeflexia, hand tremor, and elevated CK level. Some distinguishing features, such as X-linked family history, gynecomastia, and sensory abnormalities were absent in a half of cases. Frequent initial clinical findings include tremor (50%) and symptoms other than weakness, such as cramps and fatigability (33.3%).


We conclude that KD shows variable clinical and electrophysiological features. Our description on the onset and subsequent progression of each clinical finding might help to identify KD in early stage and avoid misdiagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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