[An 81-year-old woman with progressive motor disturbance, extrapyramidal features, dementia, and oculomotor palsy].No To Shinkei. 1998 Mar; 50(3):291-301.NT
We report an 81-year-old woman who presented with motor disturbance in her right hand which was followed by parkinsonism, dementia, and supranuclear gaze palsy. She was well until her age of 73 (1989) when she had an onset of difficulty in using her right hand; she did not have weakness. She also developed small step gait. These symptoms had progressively become worse. She was admitted to our hospital in July of 1992 when she was 75 years old. On admission, she was alert and oriented, but she showed some difficulty in recent memory. She did not have aphasia or ideomotor apraxia, but she showed limb-kinetic apraxia in her right hand, ideational apraxia, dressing apraxia, constructional apraxia, tactile agnosia, and left-right disorientation. Alien-hand syndrome was observed in her right hand. Ocular movement was within normal limit for her age. She had oro-lingual dyskinesia. Otherwise, cranial nerves were intact. She walked in small-steps. She had rigidity and fine myoclonic movements in her right upper extremity. Deep reflexes were within normal limits and symmetric. Superficial and deep sensations were intact. Laboratory findings were unremarkable. She was discharged on August 15, 1992 for outpatient follow-up. Her motor and mental symptoms were progressive. By October of 1992, she developed supranuclear vertical gaze palsy, marked rigidity in the neck, and astereognosis. By June 1993, she became unable to walk without support. MRI taken in May of 1994 revealed atrophy of insular cortices, temporal lobe tips and parietal lobes more on the left side; the third ventricle was slightly dilated. She was admitted to another hospital on June 30, 1994. She had become a bed-ridden state with marked dementia and dysphagia. She developed fever on November 5, 1996 and expired on December 16 of the same year. She was discussed in a neurological CPC and the chief discussant arrived at the conclusion that the patient had corticobasal degeneration. Other diagnoses entertained included progressive supranuclear palsy, pallidonigroluysian atrophy, diffuse Lewy body disease, and Pick's disease. But the most of the participants agreed with the chief discussant's diagnosis. Post-mortem examination revealed aspiration pneumonia in the lungs and liver fibrosis apparently due to viral hepatitis. In the central nervous system, frontal and parietal lobes were atrophic more on the left side. Atrophy was accentuated in the superior frontal gyri, precentral and postcentral gyri, and superior and inferior parietal lobuli. Neuronal loss and astrocytosis were seen in these regions with scattered ballooned neurons. The substantia nigra showed marked neuronal loss and gliosis; neuronal loss was also seen in the pars reticulata. The outer and inner segments of globus pallidus and the periacqueductal gray matter showed gliosis, however, no apparent neuronal loss was seen. Putamen, subthalamic nucleus, and the dentate nucleus were preserved. Pathologic changes were consistent with the diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration. It was interesting to note that anti-tau immunostaining and Gallyas staining revealed neuropil threads and astrocytic plaques in the cortical areas, and intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in the cortical neurons; these inclusions were not stained by Bodian stain. Tuft-shaped astrocytes which may be seen in progressive supranuclear palsy were not observed in this patient. Although corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy share some neurological features in common, this patient showed typical pathologic changes of corticobasal degeneration.