Acute dystonia with thalamic and brainstem lesions after initial penicillamine treatment in Wilsons disease.
Huang CC. Chu NS.
Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Medical College and Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
Dystonia is a common manifestation in Wilson's disease (WD). The striatum, especially the putamen, has been considered to be responsible for dystonia. We reported 3 patients who developed acute generalized dystonia and akinetic rigid syndrome following an initial therapy with d-penicillamine 125-500 mg daily. Brain MRI revealed lesions in the thalamus and the brainstem, particularly the tegmentum, and the basis pontis in addition to the basal ganglion lesions. After the episode, 1 patient continued to receive d-penicillamine therapy and 2 changed to zinc sulfate treatment. The generalized dystonia improved in the following 3 months and 3 years respectively in 2 patients. Follow-up brain MRI of these 2 patients revealed that the lesions in the thalamus and brainstem disappeared or resolved almost completely. From these data, acute generalized dystonia with brainstem and thalamic lesions may occur in WD patients after an initial d-penicillamine therapy. Furthermore, the dystonia may resolve following the disappearance of the brainstem and thalamic lesions.