BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-008286

Acute Marchiafava-Bignami disease presenting as reversible dementia in a chronic alcoholic

  1. Chirag K Ahuja2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
  2. 2Department of Radiolodiagnosis, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr M Modi, modim72{at}


Marchiafava-Bignami disease (MBD) is a rare complication of chronic alcoholism. Its clinical diagnosis has considerably changed during recent times, with MRI of the brain paving way for in life diagnosis. We believe that physicians need to have a high index of suspicion, because acute onset MBD is not always fatal and complete recovery is possible, provided the diagnosis is made early and treated appropriately. We report a case of MBD who was diagnosed early in the disease course with subsequent clinical and radiological recovery on institution of appropriate treatment.

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