Neuropathology of occipital horn syndrome

J Child Neurol. 2001 Oct;16(10):764-6. doi: 10.1177/088307380101601011.


Occipital horn syndrome, formerly known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type IX or X-linked cutis laxa, is an allelic variant of Menkes' syndrome. Although the clinical symptomatology and systemic pathology findings have been well described in occipital horn syndrome, the neuropathology has not previously been reported. A kindred affected by the X-linked occipital horn syndrome is followed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. A severely mentally retarded dysmorphic man, who died at the age of 26 years, never gained the ability to walk or talk. Among other findings at autopsy, the patient had the skeletal anomalies previously described with occipital horn syndrome. Neuropathologic findings included neovascularization and extreme reduplication of the cerebral arteries, in conjunction with cystic medial degeneration; bilateral cerebellar hypoplasia; focal cortical dysplasia, and cerebellar heterotopias. These findings are similar to those seen in the brains of patients with Menkes' syndrome, which is not surprising, given the known phenotypic overlap and the proven allelism of occipital horn syndrome with classic Menkes' syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / pathology*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Linkage / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Sex Chromosome Aberrations
  • X Chromosome