Atypical parkinsonism due to a D202N Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker prion protein mutation: First in vivo diagnosed case


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Background: Parkinsonism with dopa-sensitivity and a correlating DaTSCAN turned out to be due to a D202N mutation which is associated with Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease.

Methods/Results: We report a 51-year old female who presented with left-dominant parkinsonism and a positive DaTSCAN. She was diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's syndrome. Dopaminergic medication reduced her symptoms. In addition, punding-like behavior, deficits in organizing daily life and abnormal sleep behavior were reported. Neuropsychological testing, EEG, polysomnography as well as PET imaging with fluorodexyglucose (FDG), [F-18]-desmethoxyfallypride (DMFP), and [C-11]-6-OH-BTA-1 (PIB) were not diagnostic. Cerebral spinal fluid analysis revealed no 14-3-3 protein, but elevated neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100-beta and a very low phospho-tau/total-tau ratio. Analysis of the prion gene disclosed the rare D202N mutation.

Conclusions: The D202N prion mutation has been associated with GSS pathology and up to now was only reported post mortem. Our patient is the very first case diagnosed in vivo. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society