Familial progressive subcortical gliosis

Neurology. 1994 Sep;44(9):1633-43. doi: 10.1212/wnl.44.9.1633.


We report clinical and pathologic findings from two kindreds afflicted with a familial form of progressive subcortical gliosis. The disorder segregated as an autosomal dominant trait. Onset was in the presenium and the course was slowly progressive. Affected individuals initially manifested personality change, degeneration of social ability, disinhibition, psychotic symptoms, memory impairment, or depression. Later, all developed progressive dementia, frequently associated with verbal stereotypy, decreased speech output, echolalia, or manifestations of the human Klüver-Bucy syndrome. Terminal clinical manifestations included profound dementia, frequently with mutism, dysphagia, and extrapyramidal signs. Autopsy of seven end-stage patients revealed generalized cerebral atrophy, predominantly involving the white matter of the frontal and temporal lobes. Microscopically, prominent fibrillary astrocytosis was present in the subcortical white matter and in the subpial and deep layers of the overlying cerebral cortex. These changes were most pronounced in the frontal and temporal lobes, especially in the cingulate gyri and insulae. Mild cortical neuronal loss accompanied the gliosis, but no myelin loss was evident. The claustra and substantia nigra also showed severe astrocytosis and degenerative changes. Amyloid deposits and neuronal cytoskeletal inclusions were absent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Dementia / genetics*
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Female
  • Gliosis / genetics*
  • Gliosis / pathology*
  • Gliosis / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree