Coexistence of neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an autopsy case.BMC Neurol. 2021 Jul 09; 21(1):273.BN
Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) is a rare neurodegenerative disease. Pathologically, it is characterized by eosinophilic hyaline intranuclear inclusions in the cells of the visceral organs as well as central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous system cells. Recently, a GGC repeat expansion in the NOTCH2NLC gene has been identified as the etiopathological agent of NIID. Interestingly, this GGC repeat expansion was also reported in some patients with a clinical diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, there are no autopsy-confirmed cases of concurrent NIID and ALS.
A 60-year-old Taiwanese woman reported a four-month history of progressive weakness beginning in the right foot that spread to all four extremities. She was diagnosed with ALS because she met the revised El Escorial diagnostic criteria for definite ALS with upper and lower motor neuron involvement in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral regions. She died of respiratory failure at 22 months from ALS onset, at the age of 62 years. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed lesions in the medial part of the cerebellar hemisphere, right beside the vermis (paravermal lesions). The subclinical neuropathy, indicated by a nerve conduction study (NCS), prompted a potential diagnosis of NIID. Antemortem skin biopsy and autopsy confirmed the coexistence of pathology consistent with both ALS and NIID. We observed neither eccentric distribution of p62-positive intranuclear inclusions in the areas with abundant large motor neurons nor cytopathological coexistence of ALS and NIID pathology in motor neurons. This finding suggested that ALS and NIID developed independently in this patient.
We describe a case of concurrent NIID and ALS discovered during an autopsy. Abnormal brain MRI findings, including paravermal lesions, could indicate the coexistence of NIID even in patients with ALS showing characteristic clinical phenotypes.