[A 46-year-old man with right-side dominant parkinsonism, who suffered a sudden death].No To Shinkei. 1996 Nov; 48(11):1059-67.NT
We report a 46-year-old man with right side dominant parkinsonism who died suddenly two years after the onset. The patient was well until the age of 42 years in January of 1993, when he noted an onset of difficulty in using his right hand and then the right leg. Soon after he noted nocturnal urinary incontinence. In January of 1994, a local doctor prescribed 200 mg of levodopa with benserazide and 5 mg of bromocriptine. The patient noted some improvement. Cystometry revealed 300 ml of residual urine. He visited our clinic on 24th of December, 1996. He was alert and oriented. BP was 106/60. He showed masked face and small voice. He walked in stopped posture dragging his feet; retropulsion was noted. He showed moderate bradykinesia and rigidity more on the right side. No resting tremor or cerebellar ataxia was noted. Ankle jerks were somewhat exaggerated but no Babinski sign was noted. He continued to show residual urine, but orthostatic hypotension was absent. Routine laboratory examination was unremarkable, however, his cranial MRI showed atrophy of the left putamen and a T2-linear high signal intensity lesion along the lateral border of the left putamen. On January 15, 1997, he ate certain amount of rice cake and drank alcohol. After coming back home and while changing his clothes, he suddenly complained of chest discomfort and lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead in the afternoon. The patient was discussed in a neurological CPC. Opinions were divided between Parkinson's disease and striatonigral degeneration. The chief discussed arrived at a conclusion that the patient had Parkinson's disease, because he responded to levodopa to some extent and except for nocturnal incontinence he did not have wide spread autonomic failure. Postmortem examination revealed marked loss of neurons and extensive gliosis in the left putamen. The right putamen did not show such changes. The substantia nigra showed gliosis in the lateral part on both side, however, neuronal loss was not apparent. The locus coeruleus was well retained. No Lewy bodies were found. The pontine nucleus and the cerebellum were intact. However, glial cytoplasmic inclusions were seen in oligodendrocytes of the cerebral white matter and the pontine base. The heart and lungs were intact and the cause of the sudden death could not be determined. The pathologic diagnosis is striatonigral degeneration. Such a marked asymmetry of the pathologic change is quite unusual. Probably, the death in the early stage of the disease is the reason for this asymmetry.