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Rev Neurol. 2004 Feb 16-29;38(4):327-31.

[Tourettism, hemiballism and juvenile Parkinsonism: expanding the clinical spectrum of the neurodegeneration associated to pantothenate kinase deficiency (Hallervorden Spatz syndrome)].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de NeurologĂ­a, Hospital Sarah, Brasilia DF, Brasil.



Pantothenate kinase deficiency (Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome, HSS) triggers cerebral neurodegeneration with iron deposition in the basal ganglia. The classical form has an early onset in infancy, a progressive course, the presence of extrapyramidal symptoms (dystonia, chorea, rigidity) and pigmentary retinitis. There are atypical late onset forms with predominance of symptoms of Parkinsonism and dementia, which progress slowly and course somewhat less progressively.


We describe three patients with HSS and an atypical presentation, with onset during the second decade of life. In all cases magnetic resonance imaging showed areas of hyposignal in T2 sequences in medial globus pallidus, with central hypersignal, which gave rise to a tiger's eye image. Other aetiologies, such as Wilson's disease, gangliosidosis GM1, hypoprebetalipoproteinemia, hexosaminidase A deficiency, aminoacidurias and infantile Huntingdon's chorea, were precluded. In the 20-year-old male the initial manifestations at the age of 17 were superposed over Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, with complex motor and vocal tics, palilalia, behavioural disorders and postural instability. The 13-year-old patient presented symptoms of chorea, hemiballic movements and dystonia in the lower limbs, which limited walking at the age of 12. The 28-year-old female patient presented a progressive rigid akinetic syndrome, with dementia and partial response to levodopa.


The clinical spectrum of HSS is broad and its differential diagnosis must include hemiballism, Tourette syndrome and juvenile Parkinsonism.

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