Cases reported "Multiple System Atrophy"

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1/69. multiple system atrophy with remarkable frontal lobe atrophy.

    The autopsy findings of a multiple system atrophy (MSA) patient with remarkable frontal lobe atrophy are described. The patient was a 65-year-old woman with a 13-year history of untreatable parkinsonism, dysautonomia and progressive motor aphasia. The brain weight was 810 g, and there was remarkable atrophy of the cerebrum predominantly in the frontal lobe, striatum, pons and cerebellum. Microscopic examination revealed a preserved cortical structure with laminar gliosis in the sixth layer of the precentral and superior frontal gyri of the frontal lobe, and postcentral gyrus and inferior parietal lobule of the parietal lobe. The second layer of the cortices of these regions were also revealed to be in a spongy state, and mild cell loss was seen in the fifth and six layers. The frontal lobe white matter showed a mild loss of myelinated fibers and axons, and mild gliosis. Glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) were abundantly observed in the deep layer of the cortex in the regions mentioned above, and were more abundant in the white matter of the frontal and parietal lobes, callosal body, and internal, external and extreme capsules. There was severe degeneration in the olivopontocerebellar and striatonigral systems, and GCIs in widespread regions of the brain. No Pick bodies, lewy bodies, ballooned neurons, senile plaques, or significant amounts of neurofibrillary tangles were detected. There were no vascular changes. Thus, this was a verified MSA patient with progressive aphasia and remarkable frontal lobe atrophy. We indicate a possible involvement of the cerebral lobes in MSA.
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2/69. Diffuse lewy body disease presenting as multiple system atrophy.

    OBJECTIVES: The majority of patients with diffuse lewy body disease have cognitive or psychiatric manifestations as part of their initial presentation. A sizable minority present with parkinsonian features alone. Autonomic features may also occur, typically after the development of cognitive changes. We aim to demonstrate that diffuse lewy body disease may rarely also present with parkinsonism accompanied by marked autonomic dysfunction in the absence of significant cognitive or psychiatric abnormalities. methods: Case report based on a retrospective chart review and neuropathological examination. RESULTS: We report on a patient in whom a clinical diagnosis of multiple system atrophy was made based on a presentation of parkinsonism with prominent and early autonomic involvement. The former included postural tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia, while the latter consisted of repeated falls due to orthostasis and the subsequent development of urinary incontinence midway through the course of her illness. She was poorly tolerant of dopaminergic therapy due to accentuated orthostasis. Benefit from levodopa was limited and only evident when attempted withdrawal resulted in increased rigidity. There was no history of spontaneous or drug-induced hallucinations, delusions or fluctuating cognition, and in contrast to the prominence and progression of her parkinsonian and autonomic features over the first several years, cognitive impairment did not occur until the final stages of her illness, seven years after the onset of initial symptoms. Neuropathological examination revealed numerous lewy bodies in both neocortical as well as subcortical structures consistent with a diagnosis of diffuse lewy body disease. There was marked neuronal loss in the substantia nigra as well as the autonomic nuclei of the brainstem and spinal cord. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to cognitive, psychiatric, and parkinsonian presentations, diffuse lewy body disease may present with parkinsonism and prominent autonomic dysfunction, fulfilling proposed criteria for the striatonigral form of MSA.
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3/69. Clinical and physiological characteristics of autonomic failure with Parkinson's disease.

    We analyzed the clinical and physiological features of autonomic failure with Parkinson's disease (AF-PD) in seven patients and compared them with those of autonomic failure with multiple system atrophy (AF-MSA). In AF-PD, parkinsonism was more gradually progressive than in AF-MSA, and symptoms were responsive to L-dopa. All seven patients with AF-PD had orthostatic hypotension, postprandial hypotension, and constipation, but no urinary retention. Of these, three had hypohidrosis and five had frequent urination; five patients had subnormal plasma norepinephrine (NE) concentrations. Supersensitivity to NE infusion was observed in all patients. head-up tilting (HUT) test resulted in no increase of plasma NE concentrations in both groups, but a significant increase of the plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations in the patients with AF-PD. Urodynamic studies revealed that urinary bladder function was relatively well preserved in AF-PD in contrast to AF-MSA. In conclusion, there exists some clinical and physiological differences in autonomic features between AF-PD and AF-MSA, and postganglionic involvement predominates in AF-PD.
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4/69. The dropped head sign in parkinsonism.

    We describe seven patients who exhibited the dropped head sign in parkinsonism. These included six females and one male between the ages of 53 and 74. Three patients were clinically diagnosed as probable Parkinson's disease and four were diagnosed with probable multiple system atrophy. None had weakness in the posterior neck muscles or spasms in the anterior neck muscles. When the patients attempted to extend the head voluntarily or passively muscle contraction that was not seen in the dropped-head condition appeared. Surface electromyography of the neck indicated that the anterior neck muscles had rigidity. A gamma-block of the SCM muscles reduced the muscle activity when the head was elevated and improved the dropped-head condition slightly. These findings seem to indicate that the dropped head sign in parkinsonism could be associated with anterior neck muscle rigidity. Although the severity of the dropped head condition was affected by medication or by the clinical course in three patients, there was no clear relationship between the severity of the dropped head condition and the parkinsonism. We suspected that unbalanced muscle rigidity between the anterior and the posterior neck muscles could cause the dropped head sign.
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5/69. apomorphine test: a predictor for motor responsiveness to deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus.

    The value of the apomorphine test as a predictor of the clinical outcome of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) was evaluated in patients with advanced idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) or multiple system atrophy (MSA). Thirteen IPD patients with severe diurnal fluctuations and one MSA patient not responding to dopaminergic drugs were assessed with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the timed finger tapping test (FTT), measured preoperatively on and off apomorphine and postoperatively on and off STN stimulation. UPDRS motor items 20-25 were assessed intraoperatively on and off STN stimulation when the clinically effective target was approached. The motor response to immediate intraoperative and long-term STN stimulation was correlated with results of the apomorphine test. The response to immediate intraoperative STN stimulation was accurately predicted by apomorphine challenge in all 13 IPD patients. Clinical outcome following long-term STN stimulation was correlated significantly with preoperative changes due to apomorphine measured with the UPDRS motor scores (r = 0.7125, P < 0.01) and FTT (r = 0.9276, P < 0.001). Moreover, comparison of long-term STN stimulation to preoperative drug treatment displayed a significant reduction in the duration of off-phases and a significant increase in the duration of on-phases. However, in the single patient with MSA no beneficial response was obtained either to apomorphine or to STN stimulation intraoperatively and during the postoperative externalized test period. Our results indicate that the apomorphine test can predict the outcome of immediate and long-term STN stimulation and may help in the selection of candidates for surgery.
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6/69. Postural and action myoclonus in patients with parkinsonian type multiple system atrophy.

    patients with a parkinsonian syndrome and features of multisystem atrophy (pMSA) may exhibit abnormal movements of the hands and fingers, which are reported in the literature either as "jerky" tremor or myoclonus. We studied clinically and electrophysiologically these movements in 11 consecutive patients with pMSA. No abnormal movements were observed when the patients were at complete rest, except for a characteristic parkinsonian "pill-rolling" tremor in one patient. Abnormal small-amplitude, nonrhythmic movements involving just one or a few fingers, or more rarely the whole hand, were observed in nine patients when holding a posture or at the beginning of an action. Accelerometric recordings showed small-amplitude irregular oscillations which, contrary to those of patients with tremor, had no predominant peak in the Fast Fourier frequency spectrum analysis. Electromyographic recordings in the forearm and hand muscles showed brief jerks of less than 100 ms duration which were synchronous in antagonist muscles of the forearm and alternated with brief periods of silence. Electrical stimulation of the digital nerves evoked consistent reflex responses in the wrist flexor and extensor muscles at a latency of 55.3 /-4.1 ms (range, 50-63 ms). Routine electroencephalographic (EEG) and somatosensory evoked potentials to median nerve stimulation were normal. back-averaging of the EEG activity time-locked to the jerks was performed in two patients with no evidence of abnormal cortical activity. Two patients had episodes of transient respiratory failure related to pneumonia. This caused a long-lasting enhancement of the abnormal hand and finger movements, which became larger and more widespread, with features of posthypoxic myoclonus. We conclude that the abnormal hand and finger movements of patients with pMSA are a form of postural and action myoclonus, and can be described as mini-polymyoclonus.
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7/69. electroconvulsive therapy for elderly patients with multiple system atrophy: a case series.

    multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a progressive neurological illness associated with parkinsonism. electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) improves motor function in Parkinson's disease and, thus, might be beneficial in MSA. Three cases of MSA treated with ECT are described. All patients improved neurologically, but none regained independent ambulation. A review, including previously reported cases, demonstrates that ECT can be safe and effective for depression associated with MSA. Reduced tremor and rigidity may occur, but substantial gait improvement cannot be expected.
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8/69. depression in multiple system atrophy: a case report.

    A 53-year-old woman who developed depression as the first symptom of multiple system atrophy was treated. depression was followed successively by autonomic failure, parkinsonism and cerebellar ataxia. Treatment with L-DOPA, L-threo-DOPS, and thyroid releasing hormone was associated with improvement of autonomic failure and parkinsonism. As for depression, scores on the Zung scale and the Hamilton scale improved from 58 to 49 and from 30 to 22, respectively, This case is remarkable in that depression preceded neurologic dysfunction and was managed successfully by antiparkinsonian medication. A common underlying disturbance may be responsible for the depression and neurologic dysfunction in multiple system atrophy.
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9/69. Morphometric study of nucleus ambiguus in multiple system atrophy presenting with vocal cord abductor paralysis.

    AIM: To identify lesions responsible for vocal cord abductor paralysis (VCAP) in multiple system atrophy (MSA), we performed a morphometric study of the nucleus ambiguus which innervates the intrinsic laryngeal muscles. methods: Two autopsied cases of MSA presenting with VCAP and one control were examined. Both cases of MSA showed selective neurogenic atrophy of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscles among the intrinsic laryngeal muscles, while no abnormalities were seen in the control. From a block of the medulla oblongata, sections 10 microm thickness were cut serially without spacing and stained with cresyl violet. The ambiguus neurons were counted in all the sections to make a histogram. RESULTS: In the control case, ambiguus neurons showed densely populated areas and sparsely populated areas alternately with significant difference in the mean neuronal density between two areas. In MSA, ambiguus neurons were significantly decreased in number at all levels. It indicates that the neurogenic atrophy of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle is derived from the neuronal loss of the nucleus ambiguus. CONCLUSION: Though it has still been controversial whether or not the ambiguus neurons are decreased in number in MSA with VCAP, we speculated possible reasons for the disagreement on the involvement of the nucleus ambiguus as follows: different mechanism of VCAP are playing role, and histometric data have been disturbed by factors such as split-cell counting error and marked variation in the distribution of the ambiguus neurons.
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10/69. Asymmetrical temporal lobe atrophy with massive neuronal inclusions in multiple system atrophy.

    This report concerns a rare association of asymmetrical temporal lobe atrophy with multiple system atrophy (MSA). A 53-year-old Japanese woman developed cerebellar ataxia and parkinsonism and was diagnosed as olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA). This patient showed forgetfulness and subsequent disorientation even in the early stage of the disease. She fell into a decorticate state at the age of 64, and died a year later. The autopsy showed MSA with asymmetrical atrophy of temporal lobes, intraneuronal globular inclusions mostly confined to the hippocampus, amygdaloid nucleus, and most abundant in the granule cells in the dentate fascia. These inclusions were intensely argyrophilic and expressed marked immunoreactivity to ubiquitin, but not to neurofilament (NF), tau and paired helical filaments (PHF). Ultrastructurally, they were composed of scattered short filamentous structures of 15 to 30 nm in diameter, ribosome-like granules, mitochondria and lipofuscin. The lack of immunoreactivity against tau, NF and PHF suggests that the inclusions are distinct from Pick bodies. To our knowledge, MSA in association with asymmetrical temporal lobe atrophy with the present neuronal inclusions has not been reported. This case is distinct from MSA combined with atypical Pick's disease in the distribution and immunohistochemical properties of neuronal inclusions, and may present a new variant of MSA since the neuronal inclusions are similar, in many respects, to those of neuronal inclusions reported in MSA. Globular inclusions are also discussed in variants of Pick's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
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