[A 77-year-old man with gait and gaze disturbance].No To Shinkei. 2000 Mar; 52(3):269-79.NT
We report a 77-year-old Japanese man with progressive gait disturbance. He was well until his 71 years of the age (1992), when he noted an onset of disturbance in his speech, which was followed by difficulty in using his left hand. He did not attempt to use his left hand afterwards. He started to fall down in the spring of 1994. He was admitted to our service on October 6, 1994. Neurologic examination revealed an alert and oriented man. He showed limb-kinetic apraxia in his left hand with anosognosia for his apraxia. Vertical gaze was impaired. He walked in small steps. He had moderate axial and limb rigidity. He had no weakness, ataxia, or tremor. Deep tendon reflexes were normal. Plantar response was flexor. Sensation was intact. His gait had progressively become worse and he was admitted to another hospital in April of 1996. At that time he was disoriented to time. He was only able to walk a few steps with support. He continued to show limb-kinetic apraxia in his left hand. He developed dementia and dysphagia and he expired on October 27, 1998. He was discussed in a neurological CPC, and the chief discussant arrived at the conclusion that the patient had corticobasal degeneration. Most of the participants agreed with this diagnosis, but a few of them thought that progressive supranuclear palsy would be more likely. Post-mortem examination revealed no gross cortical atrophy. The right hemisphere was kept frozen for future biochemical analysis. The left precentral gyrus showed spongy changes, neuronal loss and gliosis. The pallidum, putamen, and the subthalamic nucleus were unremarkable, however, neurofibrillary tangles were seen in the subthalamic nucleus. The substantia nigra showed only slight neuronal loss; neuronal pigments were well retained. A few neurofibrillary tangles were seen in the remaining neurons. The cerebellar dentate nucleus showed grumose degeneration. Gallyas-Braak staining revealed many tuft-shaped astrocytes in the precentral gyrus. Pathologic diagnosis was progressive supranuclear palsy. Some participants thought that this diagnosis was unacceptable, because the pathologic changes in the substantia nigra, globus pallidus, and the subthalamic nucleus, which were usually severely involved in PSP, did not show typical changes of PSP. In addition, the predominant clinical feature was limb-kinetic apraxia, although he showed vertical gaze paresis and parkinsonian gait, which could also be seen in corticobasal degeneration. There was a big discussion among participants with regard to the diagnosis.