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Abstract Details

Progressive Ataxia with Palatal Tremor: A Case Series
Movement Disorders
P9 - Poster Session 9 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)
5-006

PAPT is a rare clinical syndrome characterized by symptomatic palatal tremor and progressive cerebellar ataxia. Imaging typically shows bilateral hypertrophic olivary degeneration (HOD). Though published work based on autopsy cases suggests a novel tauopathy as a possible etiology of sporadic PAPT, the syndrome can arise from a variety of vascular, traumatic, autoimmune, or genetic causes. Despite its many possible underlying etiologies, the published literature provides little guidance on a systematic approach to diagnostic testing.

This case series adds to the limited literature about progressive ataxia with palatal tremor (PAPT) by describing clinical findings and the approach to diagnostic testing in six cases of PAPT.

We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients evaluated at the Ataxia Center at Massachusetts General Hospital between 2010-2022 with clinical findings consistent with PAPT. Data were collected about disease presentation, disease progression, imaging findings and diagnostic testing.

Six patients with PAPT were identified. Average age of symptom onset was 61, range 54-65. Presenting symptoms were gait imbalance in three, and dysarthria, dysphagia, and throat tremor, respectively, in the rest. All developed palatal tremor (patient 6 with ear clicks), appendicular ataxia, and ataxic eye movements throughout their course. All patients had evidence of bilateral HOD on brain MRI. PAPT was attributed to cavernous malformations in patient 2 and multicompartmental hemorrhage in patient 4. The causes in the remainder are unknown. Diagnostic testing varied. Four patients (inclusive of patients 2 and 4) underwent whole exome sequencing, two underwent cerebrospinal fluid analysis (both non-inflammatory), four had celiac testing, and one was tested broadly for neuronal autoantibodies.

PAPT is a clinical syndrome with a variety of etiologies. As in our study, literature suggests that diagnostic evaluation often varies. Systematic evaluation is important to find underlying causes and aid future research to better identify and study patients with idiopathic PAPT.

Authors/Disclosures
Mattia Wruble, MD
PRESENTER
Dr. Wruble has nothing to disclose.
Anoopum Gupta, MD, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham, Harvard) Dr. Gupta has received personal compensation in the range of $100,000-$499,999 for serving as a Consultant for Biogen. The institution of Dr. Gupta has received research support from Biogen.
Jeremy D. Schmahmann, MD, FAAN (Massachusettes General Hospital) Dr. Schmahmann has received personal compensation in the range of $10,000-$49,999 for serving as a Consultant for Biohaven. The institution of Dr. Schmahmann has received research support from National Ataxia Foundation. The institution of Dr. Schmahmann has received research support from Biohaven. Dr. Schmahmann has received intellectual property interests from a discovery or technology relating to health care. Dr. Schmahmann has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Schmahmann has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care. Dr. Schmahmann has received publishing royalties from a publication relating to health care.
Denis Tan Kerim Balaban, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital) The institution of Dr. Balaban has received research support from Biogen.