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Case report
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) and dementia in a 75-year-old female
  1. Mhairi Kathryn Nisbet1 and
  2. Louise Marshall2
  1. 1 Department of Learning Disability, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2 Department of Older Adult Psychology, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Miss Mhairi Kathryn Nisbet, 0901173n{at}, mhairi.nisbet{at}


Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a relatively rare, adult-onset disorder characterised by proximal limb weakness, progressive eyelid drooping and swallowing difficulties. Preliminary research suggests there could be a link between OPMD and dementia; however, the current literature is relatively limited and inconsistent. This case study describes a 75-year-old female with OPMD, presenting to an older adults community mental health team with memory problems and word finding difficulties. A neuropsychological assessment was carried out. The results of her assessment were difficult to interpret; she demonstrated impairments in most cognitive domains tested and her presentation did not appear to reflect any typical dementia profile. It was thought she was most likely presenting with a dementia; however, the exact aetiology remains unclear. The dementia could be a result of OPMD, vascular changes or both. This report emphasises the need for further research into the possible causal link between OPMD and dementia/cognitive decline.

  • eye
  • muscle disease
  • dementia due to medical condition
  • dementia
  • vascular

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  • Contributors MKN (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) and LM (Clinical Psychologist) contributed equally to the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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