Reversible dementia: a case of cryptococcal meningitis masquerading as Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT A 70-year-old man presented to us in 1994 with a three-year history of worsening dementia. With the exceptions of a Mini-Mental State exam score of 20 and an inability to tandem walk, his physical and neurological examinations were normal. His past medical history revealed that in 1992 he had been evaluated at another institution for memory impairment and bifrontal headaches. A spinal tap had been done in 1992 showing elevated protein, reduced glucose, and a pleocytosis; his CSF fungal culture and cryptococcal antigen test were negative. He subsequently was lost to follow-up, and although his headaches had resolved, his mental status had continued to worsen. In 1994 his CSF cryptococcal antigen was positive, and his CSF fungal culture grew C. neoformans. He gradually improved with treatment for cryptococcal meningitis (CM). With the exception of mild memory impairment, in 2003 he and his family thought that his mental status had returned to normal. This case emphasizes that: 1) CM should always be kept in the differential diagnosis of dementia; 2) CM may be extremely insidious and difficult to diagnose; and 3) if one is to rule out unequivocally all possible reversible causes of dementia, one should perform a spinal tap.
- SourceAvailable from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Heightened awareness of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) among physicians and the lay public has led to its frequent consideration in the differential diagnosis of patients with rapidly progressive dementia (RPD). Our goal was to determine which treatable disorders are most commonly mistaken for CJD. We performed a retrospective clinical and neuropathological review of prion-negative brain autopsy cases referred to the US National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve University from January 2006 through December 2009. Of 1,106 brain autopsies, 352 (32%) were negative for prion disease, 304 of which had adequate tissue for histopathological analysis. Alzheimer disease (n = 154) and vascular dementia (n = 36) were the 2 most frequent diagnoses. Seventy-one patients had potentially treatable diseases. Clinical findings included dementia (42 cases), pyramidal (n = 20), cerebellar (n = 14), or extrapyramidal (n = 12) signs, myoclonus (n = 12), visual disturbance (n = 9), and akinetic mutism (n = 5); a typical electroencephalogram occurred only once. Neuropathological diagnoses included immune-mediated disorders (n = 26), neoplasia (n = 25, most often lymphoma), infections (n = 14), and metabolic disorders (n = 6). In patients with RPD, treatable disorders should be considered and excluded before diagnosing CJD. Misdiagnosed patients often did not fulfill World Health Organization criteria. RPD with positive 14-3-3 cerebrospinal fluid protein should not be regarded as sufficient for the diagnosis of CJD. Adherence to revised criteria for CJD, which include distinctive magnetic resonance imaging features of prion disease, is likely to improve diagnostic accuracy.Annals of Neurology 04/2011; 70(3):437-44. · 11.19 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The high rate of neuropsychologic sequelae in CM survivors indicates that initial antifungal therapy is far from being satisfactory. This prospective cross-sectional study applied DTI on HIV-negative CM patients to determine whether microstructural changes in brain tissue are associated with subsequent cognitive symptoms. Fifteen patients with HIV-negative CM and 15 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were evaluated and compared. All underwent complete medical and neurologic examinations and neuropsychologic testing. Brain DTI was obtained to derive the FA and ADC of several brain regions. Correlations among DTI parameters, neuropsychologic rating scores, and cryptococcal-antigen titer in CSF were analyzed. Significant ADC values increased and FA values decreased in HIV-negative CM patients in multiple selected regions of interest, including the genus of the corpus callosum and the frontal, parietal, orbito-frontal, and periventricular white matter and lentiform nucleus. Higher CSF cryptococcal-antigen titer on admission was associated with poorer DTI parameters (r = -0.666, P = .018), which were linearly related to worse cognitive performance during follow-up. The decline in brain DTI parameters in the associated brain areas indicates an HIV-negative CM microstructural pathology that is related to neuropsychologic consequences.American Journal of Neuroradiology 05/2011; 32(7):1333-9. · 3.17 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Frontal lobe syndromes, better termed as frontal network systems, are relatively unique in that they may manifest from almost any brain region, due to their widespread connectivity. The understandings of the manifold expressions seen clinically are helped by considering evolutionary origins, the contribution of the state-dependent ascending monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems, and cerebral connectivity. Hence, the so-called networktopathies may be a better term for the syndromes encountered clinically. An increasing array of metric tests are becoming available that complement that long standing history of qualitative bedside assessments pioneered by Alexander Luria, for example. An understanding of the vast panoply of frontal systems' syndromes has been pivotal in understanding and diagnosing the most common dementia syndrome under the age of 60, for example, frontotemporal lobe degeneration. New treatment options are also progressively becoming available, with recent evidence of dopaminergic augmentation, for example, being helpful in traumatic brain injury. The latter include not only psychopharmacological options but also device-based therapies including mirror visual feedback therapy.ISRN neurology. 01/2013; 2013:892459.