[A 70-year-old man with a progressive gait disturbance and gaze palsy].No To Shinkei. 1997 Jan; 49(1):93-100.NT
We report a 70-year-old man with progressive gait disturbance and gaze palsy. The patient was well until summer of 1991 when he was 66-year-old, when he noted a gradual onset of difficulty in gait and looking downward. He was evaluated in our hospital in May, 1994 when he was 69-year-old. On admission, he was alert but markedly demented with disorientation and memory loss. Constructional apraxia and dressing apraxia were noted. He had difficulty in gaze to all directions; he could move his eyes only 20% of the normal range. Oculocephalic response was retained. He had small voice and some dysphagia. Other cranial nerves were unremarkable. He could not walk unsupported. Marked retropulsion was noted in which he would fell down spontaneously upon standing unless supported. Moderate to marked rigidity was noted in the neck, trunk, and in the legs, however, in the upper extremities, rigidity was only mild. No tremor was noted. Deep reflexes were symmetrically exaggerated with ankle clonus bilaterally. Plantar response was flexor. Sensation was intact. Routine laboratory tests were unremarkable, however, his cranial MRI showed moderate to marked fronto-temporal atrophy and moderate midbrain and pontine tegmental atrophy. The third ventricle was markedly dilated. He was discharged for out patient care, however, his dysphagia had become progressively worse, and he suffered from frequent bouts of pneumonia. He was admitted to our service on October 17, 1994. His neurologic examination was essentially similar except that he showed more advanced dementia. He was still able to stand with support. Gastrostomy was placed on October 25. Post-operative course was unremarkable. He was discharged on November 1. His motor disturbance showed gradual deterioration, and by the May of 1995, he became bed-ridden, and was admitted to another hospital on May 30, 1995. He was almost totally unable to move his eyes, but oculocephalic response was still elicited. Marked truncal and limb rigidity were noted. He vomited coffee-ground substance on October 31, 1995, and developed hypotension. The subsequent course was complicated by pneumonia and he expired on November 24. The patient was discussed in a neurological CPC. Majority of the participants thought that the patient had progressive supranuclear palsy, but some participants thought that the patient had corticobasal degeneration because cortical atrophy was so marked. Post mortem examination revealed atrophy of the frontal and parietal lobe. The brain stem was atrophic particularly in the tegmental area including the midbrain. The substantia nigra showed marked neuronal loss and globose type neurofibrillary tangles in the remaining neurons. The neurons in the locus coeruleus was well retained, however neurofibrillary tangles were seen. In addition, the cerebellar dentate nucleus, the inferior olivary nucleus, and the internal globus pallidus showed marked neuronal loss and neurofibrillary degeneration. In the frontal cortex, although macroscopic examination showed some atrophy, microscopic examination failed to show neuronal loss or gliosis. The pathologic findings were consistent with the diagnosis of progressive supranuclear palsy.