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1/2. dopamine transporter binding in Wilson's disease.

    INTRODUCTION: In Wilson's disease (WD), brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) show increased signal intensity in T2 weighted images in the lenticular nuclei, thalamus and brainstem, including the substantia nigra. A poor therapeutic response to levodopa in WD suggests the mechanism of a postsynaptic abnormality. However positron emission tomography studies show an involvement of the nigrostriatal presynaptic dopaminergic pathway. CASE REPORT: We report the clinical manifestations in a case of WD with akinetic-rigid syndrome and initial hesitation. The brain MRI showed an increased signal intensity lesion in the substantia nigra region, in addition to basal ganglion and thalamic lesions. However, dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging with 99mTc-TRODAT-1 revealed a nonsignificantly increased DAT uptake, suggesting a normal presynaptic nigrostriatal dopaminergic terminal. CONCLUSION: We suggest that significant heterogeneity can be found in WD patients and a normal presynaptic dopaminergic pathway may occur in some patients, even those with typical akinetic-rigid syndrome and evidence of substantia nigra involvement in the brain on MRI.
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2/2. Acute dystonia with thalamic and brainstem lesions after initial penicillamine treatment in Wilson's disease.

    dystonia is a common manifestation in Wilson's disease (WD). The striatum, especially the putamen, has been considered to be responsible for dystonia. We reported 3 patients who developed acute generalized dystonia and akinetic rigid syndrome following an initial therapy with d-penicillamine 125-500 mg daily. brain MRI revealed lesions in the thalamus and the brainstem, particularly the tegmentum, and the basis pontis in addition to the basal ganglion lesions. After the episode, 1 patient continued to receive d-penicillamine therapy and 2 changed to zinc sulfate treatment. The generalized dystonia improved in the following 3 months and 3 years respectively in 2 patients. Follow-up brain MRI of these 2 patients revealed that the lesions in the thalamus and brainstem disappeared or resolved almost completely. From these data, acute generalized dystonia with brainstem and thalamic lesions may occur in WD patients after an initial d-penicillamine therapy. Furthermore, the dystonia may resolve following the disappearance of the brainstem and thalamic lesions.
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