Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

Unverricht-Lundborg disease manifesting tremulous myoclonus with rare convulsive seizures: A case report

Takayuki Kondo, M.D., Hodaka Yamakado, M.D., Jun Kawamata, M.D., Hidekazu Tomimoto, M.D., Takefumi Hitomi, M.D., Ryosuke Takahashi, M.D. and Akio Ikeda, M.D.

Department of Neurology, Kyoto University Hospital

We report a 23-year-old woman who slowly developed progressive tremulous myoclonus and rare convulsive seizures beginning at the age of 9 and 11 years, respectively. She also showed a mild degree of ataxia and cognitive dysfunction. Convulsive seizures were well suppressed by valproic acid since the age of 17 years, but tremulous myoclonus gradually progressed and became rather intractable in spite of treatment by clonazepam and piracetam. Her cognitive dysfunction was mild (total IQ score in Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised being 85 points). In addition, she had a fear of walking which disabled her in the daily life although she could actually walk without assistance. The brain MRI showed a mild cerebellar atrophy, and FDG-PET showed a mild hypometabolism in the cerebellar hemispheres. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) showed enlarged P25 and N33 amplitudes (giant SEPs). A Cystatin B gene analysis exhibited a homozygous expansion of the dodecamer repeat, and thus we made a diagnosis of Unverricht-Lundborg disease (ULD). We also did gene analysis and SEP study to her parents after written informed consents were obtained. They had heterozygous expansion of the dodecamer repeat. The mother also showed enlarged P25 and N33 amplitudes, whereas the father showed normal amplitudes. It is known that degree of clinical symptoms varies among patients with ULD diagnosed by gene analysis. Gene analysis was helpful for a diagnosis of ULD in this patient because the ataxia and cognitive dysfunction were much milder than those commonly seen in patients with ULD.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (423K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 49: 43|47, 2009)
key words: Unverricht-Lundborg disease, progressive myoclonus epilepsy, gene analysis, giant SEPs

(Received: 16-Sep-08)