Alexander disease: Early presence of cerebral MRI criteria

C.B. Poloni, S. Ferey, C.A. Haenggeli, J. Delavelle, A. Bottani, G.S. Salomons, M.S. van der Knaap, C.M. Korff

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Alexander disease is a rare neurodegenerative disorder. its most frequent subtype, the infantile form, is characterized by an early onset and a rapid neurological deterioration during the first months of life. Since the publication of cerebral radiological criteria in 2001, the disease has often been recognized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. We report the case of a girl who at the age of 3 months presented with partial seizures and a normal neurological examination. MRI revealed the presence of a periventricular rim, extensive frontal white matter abnormalities, abnormalities of the basal ganglia and thalami and contrast enhancement involving optic chiasm, fornix, hypothalamus and mamillary bodies, corresponding to four of the five reported MRI criteria for Alexander disease. Additional MRI abnormalities not described so far were also observed. The diagnosis was confirmed by genetic analysis. This case illustrates that diagnostic MRI abnormalities of Alexander disease may be present at a very young age, long before the appearance of characteristic clinical signs. Early diagnosis by MRI allows prompt counselling of families. (C) 2009 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-558
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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