Elevated cerebrospinal fluid lactate levels and the pathomechanism of calcification in Fahr's disease

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Abstract

In this study, we report the case of a 68-year-old man complaining of involuntary movement of his left shoulder and lower jaw plus dyspnea. On cranial computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, marked and symmetrical calcification at the basal ganglia and dentate nuclei was documented. An elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) lactate level was confirmed by spinal tap examination and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The raised CSF lactate level, clinical characteristics such as diabetes, bilateral hearing loss and symmetrical cerebral calcification strongly suggested some kinds of mitochondrial disease. However, gene analysis of peripheral blood leukocytes revealed no typical or known mutations. Under the diagnosis of Fahr's disease, we treated him with haloperidol, which completely abolished his symptoms. In Ellsworth–Howard test, he showed markedly decreased phosphaturic response to parathyroid hormone with same pattern as type 2 pseudohypoparathyroidism. This abnormal response in our patient, probably due to respiratory alkalosis reflecting chronic hyperventilation, might in part explain similar mechanism of ectopic calcification underlying these two diseases.

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