We report a case of autopsy-verified MM2-thalamic-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) in a 46-year-old patient with a 16-month history of abnormal behavior, progressive dementia, insomnia, and speech disturbances without family history. Neurological examination revealed progressive dementia, frontal signs, insomnia, speech disturbance, gait disturbance and bilaterally exaggerated tendon reflexes. Both brain MRI and cerebrospinal fluid examinations, including 14-3-3 protein, yielded normal results. An easy Z-score (eZIS) analysis for 99mTc-ethyl cysteinate dimer-single photon emission computed tomography (99mTc-ECD-SPECT) revealed decreased regional cerebral blood flow in the bilateral thalami and medulla oblongata. PRNP gene analysis revealed methionine homozygosity at codon 129 without mutation. Neuropathological examinations revealed severe neuronal loss, gliosis, and hypertrophic astrocytosis in the medial thalamus and inferior olivary nucleus. A slight depletion of Purkinje cells was observed. PrP immunostaining showed no obvious PrP deposits in the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, or brainstem; however, mild synaptic-type PrP deposits with some smaller plaque-like structures were only partially observed in the localized region of the frontal lobe with the spongiform change. Western blot analyses of protease-resistant PrP showed a type 2 pattern. In conclusion, eZIS analysis of 99mTc-ECD-SPECT images is useful for detecting both thalamic and medullary lesions. This is the first case of medullary lesions detected in a live patient with MM2-thalamic-type sCJD using SPECT.
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