Hypocupremia: a possible association with late cortical cerebellar atrophy

Shivam Om Mittal, Duarte G Machado
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements 2014, 4: 202

BACKGROUND: We report a patient, diagnosed with late cortical cerebellar atrophy, who had persistent low serum copper levels.

CASE REPORT: A 48-year-old male developed progressive difficulty with balance, frequent falls, and dysarthric speech, which worsened over a short time span. He had an extensive ataxia work-up, which was unremarkable except for persistent low serum copper levels despite adequate supplementation. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed marked cerebellar atrophy. The patient experienced progressive worsening of symptoms, which did not improve with either oral or parenteral copper supplementation.

DISCUSSION: To our knowledge, ours is the first case report of late cortical cerebellar atrophy in the setting of low serum copper levels. The current report should trigger further research in mechanisms leading to copper deficiency and its possible role in cerebellar disease.

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