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Claustrum hyperintensity: a rare radiological correlate in Niemann-Pick disease


A 5-year-old male child of consanguineous parentage, without any adverse perinatal history, presented with progressive cognitive regression predominantly in the language and attention domains, for 2 years. He had simultaneous pyramidal and extrapyramidal involvement, frequent generalised tonic-clonic seizures and recurrent respiratory tract infections. Examination was significant for vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, coarse facial features and splenomegaly. Given the clinical features, in the background of consanguinity and mother’s history of spontaneous pregnancy losses, inborn errors of metabolism were suspected. Following relevant investigations including tailored genetic study, Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) was diagnosed. Interestingly, MRI brain showed bilateral T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery claustrum hyperintensities, which are more commonly associated with autoimmune encephalitis and febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome and not reported previously in NPC. Additionally, language regression as a presenting manifestation in NPC as opposed to classical dysarthria makes this case truly unique.

  • neuro genetics
  • neuroimaging
  • neurology
  • memory disorders
  • epilepsy and seizures

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