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Familial Kufs' disease presenting as a progressive myoclonic epilepsy


Kufs' disease is the adult form of a group of disorders referred to as neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis or Batten's disease. We report here the clinical and anatomopathological features of two young brothers presenting with a progressive myoclonic epilepsy corresponding to type A of the disease according to Berkovic. The first clinical manifestations occurred before 20 years of age. Diagnosis was made in the older brother at autopsy and in the younger brother from a rectal biopsy. In addition to characteristic electron microscopic findings, enlarged neurons showed strong immunoreactivity against subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase which has been reported previously in only a few adult cases of neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis. An extensive review of the published cases underlines the rarity of this condition, particularly when onset is early.

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Received: 22 June 1999, Received in revised form: 29 December 1999, Accepted: 3 February 2000

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Sadzot, B., Reznik, M., Arrese-Estrada, J. et al. Familial Kufs' disease presenting as a progressive myoclonic epilepsy. J Neurol 247, 447–454 (2000).

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  • Key words Myoclonic epilepsy
  • Kufs' disease