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Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease versus anti-LGI1 limbic encephalitis in a patient with progressive cognitive dysfunction, psychiatric symptoms, involuntary facio-brachio-crural movement, and an abnormal electroencephalogram: a case report

Authors Sun L, Cao J, Liu C, Lv Y

Received 23 January 2015

Accepted for publication 19 March 2015

Published 11 June 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1427—1430


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Li Sun, Jie Cao, Chang Liu, Yudan Lv

Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of JiLin University, ChangChun, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is often challenging in elderly individuals, not only because of its variable clinical features but also because of nonspecific changes on the electroencephalogram (EEG) in the early stages of the disease. Here we report on a patient who presented with progressive cognitive dysfunction, psychiatric symptoms, involuntary facio-brachio-crural movement, and an abnormal EEG. We provide a detailed analysis and differential diagnosis between anti-leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1) limbic encephalitis versus CJD, in the hope of providing a new understanding of CJD. A 65-year-old Chinese man presented with slowly progressive cognitive decline with psychiatric symptoms. On admission, he presented with facial grimacing and brief left upper limb dystonic posturing lasting 1–2 seconds, with hyponatremia that was difficult to rectify. Neurological examination showed increased muscle tension in the left limb but without pathological reflexes. His early EEG showed focal periodic wave complexes. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging showed a suspected “lace sign” in the occipital cortex. His cerebrospinal fluid was negative for LGI1 antibodies and positive for 14-3-3 brain protein. Therefore, we made a presumptive diagnosis of CJD. At the following visit, a second EEG showed paroxysmal sharp wave complexes, but the patient had a poor prognosis. Atypical facio-brachio-crural movement and nonspecific EEG changes may occasionally be found in patients with CJD or anti-LGI1 encephalitis. Clinicians should not be dissuaded from a diagnosis of CJD where the EEG does not show paroxysmal sharp wave complexes in the early stages but abnormal facio-brachio-crural movement is present.

Keywords: abnormal facio-brachio-crural movement, hyponatremia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1, paroxysmal sharp wave complexes

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