Myoclonic encephalopathy and diabetes mellitus in a boy.
We describe an 18-month-old boy with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who developed idiopathic myoclonic encephalopathy (dancing eye syndrome) at 26 months of age. The neurological symptomatology (multifocal myoclonus, opsoclonus, ataxia, behavioural disturbance) developed within 10 to 14 days after presentation. Biological, neuroradiological, and scintigraphic examination excluded CNS infectious diseases, intoxication, or tumours. At onset of diabetes mellitus, anti-glutamic-acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies were observed, and markedly increased in titre when myoclonic encephalopathy occurred. Corticosteroid treatment resulted in a decrease in anti-GAD autoantibody titres and the disappearance of neurological disturbances. As GAD is expressed both in pancreatic beta-cells and cerebellar Purkinje cells, it is possible that a common autoimmune disorder in this patient may account for both the diabetes and myoclonic encephalopathy.
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