Late onset vanishing white matter disease presenting with learning difficulties

J. Damasio, H.D.W. van der Lei, M.S. van der Knaap, E. Santos

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background: Vanishing white matter is an inherited leukoencephalopathy with typical childhood onset. Late onset forms are rare and may present with an extended range of phenotypes. Case report We present a patient born to consanguineous parents who developed learning disabilities by the age of 16 years. At the age of 25 she had a focal motor seizure with subsequent hemiparesis. After an extensive investigation she was diagnosed and treated as multiple sclerosis. There was progressive memory and planning impairment and, six years later, Sjögren syndrome with central nervous system involvement was diagnosed. For six months she was treated with cyclophosphamide, without any improvement. The next two years she had major clinical deterioration following infections. A homozygous mutation was identified in the EIF2B5 gene at the age of 33, and she died a year later. Conclusions: VWM leukoencephalopathy is still largely recognized as a pediatric disorder, with many adult neurologists being unfamiliar with the late onset presentations. We wish to draw attention into these forms, avoiding submitting these patients to extensive workup and unnecessary treatments. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-170
    JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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