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J Neurol. 2007 Oct;254(10):1390-4. Epub 2007 Oct 15.

An adult form of Alexander disease: a novel mutation in glial fibrillary acidic protein.

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Dept. of Neurology, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine Yahatanishi-ku, Kitakyushu, 807-8555, Japan.


Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mutation has been reported in Alexander disease. We report a patient with the adult form of Alexander disease who shows a novel mutation in GFAP. This case presented with progressive dysarthria, dysphagia and spastic gait on the right side. Brain and spinal cord MRI showed marked atrophy of the medulla oblongata and spinal cord. Abnormal high signal intensities in the ventral medulla oblongata were detected bilaterally. There were no white matter lesions or contrast enhancing lesions. Recently, there have been reports of patients with a juvenile form of Alexander disease presenting with atrophy or signal abnormalities of the medulla or spinal cord. Atrophy of the medulla and spinal cord have specifically been described as suggestive of Alexander disease [1]. Sequence analysis of the GFAP gene of this patient showed a heterozygous c.221T>C mutation, predicting a p.M74T amino acid change. In all patients suspected of Alexander disease on the basis of MRI findings, GFAP analysis is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

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