Vol. 1 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2007
Original Article Páginas: 331 a 319

The syndrome of progressive posterior cortical dysfunction: a multiple case study and review

Authors Renata Areza-Fegyveres1, Paulo Caramelli2, Claudia Sellitto Porto3, Carla Rachel Ono4, Carlos Alberto Buchpiguel5, Ricardo Nitrini6


keywords: posterior cortical atrophy, syndrome of progressive posterior cortical dysfunction, Alzheimer disease, visual symptoms.

Dementia presenting with prominent higher order visual symptoms may be observed in a range of neurodegenerative conditions and is often challenging to diagnose. Objectives: To describe cases of progressive dementia presenting with prominent visual cortical symptoms. Methods: We conducted a retrospective search of cases of progressive dementia with predominant visual symptoms, seen at our dementia unit from 1996 to 2006. Results: Twelve patients (5 men, 7 women) were identified, with ages ranging from 49 to 67 years. At the first examination, the duration of the symptoms ranged from one to ten years and the Mini-Mental State Examination scores from 7 to 27. Eleven patients presented with predominant visuospatial symptoms (partial or complete Balint syndrome) and one with visuoperceptive impairment. Other reported manifestations were: constructional apraxia in 11 patients, partial or complete Gerstmann syndrome in ten, ideomotor apraxia in nine, hemineglect or extinction in four patients, alien hand phenomenon in three, and prosopagnosia in one patient. Memory loss was reported by ten patients, but was not the main complaint in any of these cases. Insight was relatively preserved in five patients even after a long period following the onset of symptoms. Six patients developed parkinsonism during evolution. Clinical diagnoses were possible or probable AD in seven patients, cortico-basal degeneration in four, and dementia with Lewy body in one. Conclusions: Clinicians should consider this condition especially in presenile patients with slowly progressive higher-order visual symptoms. Although described in association with different conditions, it may also occur in Alzheimer disease.


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