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J Neurol. 1983;230(1):57-64.

Familial oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy with distal spread.


An Italian male aged 50 years with oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy is reported. Eleven of his relatives, over a period of three generations, had ptosis, dysphagia, nasal voice and difficulty in walking. The distribution of muscle weakness in the propositus and in one of his sisters was proximal in the upper, but distal in the lower limbs, confirming the existence of a relationship between oculopharyngeal dystrophy and distal myopathy. The first muscle biopsy appeared normal except for some round-cell collections, whereas the second one, 5 years later, showed marked dystrophic changes. Some patients with oculopharyngeal dystrophy may apparently pass through a secondary muscular inflammatory stage.

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