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Primary lateral sclerosis presenting parkinsonian symptoms without nigrostriatal involvement


We encountered three patients with primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) showing bradykinesia, frozen gait, and severe postural instability, as well as slowly progressive spinobulbar spasticity. Cranial magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed precentral gyrus atrophy. Central motor conduction was markedly prolonged or failed to evoke a response. Positron emission tomography (PET) showed significant reduction of [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose uptake in the area of the precentral gyrus extending to the prefrontal, medial frontal, and cingulate areas. No abnormalities were seen in the nigrostriatal system with PET using [18F]fluorodopa or [11C]raclopride or with proton MR spectroscopy. Thus, widespread prefrontal, medial, and cingulate frontal lobe involvement can be associated with the parkinsonian symptoms in PLS.

  • FDG, [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose
  • F-dopa, [18F]fluorodopa
  • PET, positron emission tomography
  • 1H-MRS, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • MND, motor neurone disease
  • PLS, primary lateral sclerosis
  • RACLO, [11C]raclopride
  • primary lateral sclerosis
  • parkinsonism
  • prefrontal area
  • positron emission tomography
  • proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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