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Abstract Details

POLG-Related Ataxia and Ophthalmoplegia: A Case Report
Movement Disorders
P9 - Poster Session 9 (5:30 PM-6:30 PM)
Genetic variants of the POLG gene result in mitochondrial DNA defects and account for a large proportion of mitochondrial diseases. These disorders encompass a spectrum of phenotypes, with onset ranging from infancy to late adulthood. In addition to hepatic dysfunction and myopathy in younger populations, and hormone derangements with cataracts in older patients, patients may also present with prominent neurologic symptoms, including ataxia, parkinsonism, epilepsy, and ophthalmoplegia. More than 300 pathogenic mutations of POLG have been reported and there are no clear genotype-phenotype correlations. Given the rarity of these syndromes and wide range of clinical phenotypes, there is often delay in diagnosis.
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We present a 47-year old woman with symptoms of difficulty speaking and development of tremor, vision loss, dizziness, and gait difficulty progressing over several months. Initial exam was significant for ataxia and choreiform movements. Extraocular movement (EOM) testing revealed delayed initiation of saccades and slow, saccadic pursuits with nystagmus. Bloodwork, which included extensive workup for causes of chorea and ataxia, electromyography/nerve conduction studies, and imaging (MRI brain and malignancy work-up) were unremarkable. She continued to decline with development of ophthalmoplegia, ptosis, numbness, weakness, and pain, severely limiting her functional capacity. Whole exome sequencing was performed and showed a heterozygous variant of uncertain significance (VUS) in the POLG gene, which may explain her presentation.
This case adds to a growing collection of case reports describing the various phenotypes of POLG-related disorders. Early detection of POLG variants and phenotype/genotype characterization may help guide development of future treatments for patients with similar conditions.
Taylor Kay Peabody, MD (University of Miami)
Dr. Peabody has nothing to disclose.
Danielle Spengler Shpiner, MD (University of Miami Miller School of Medicine) An immediate family member of Dr. Shpiner has received personal compensation for serving as an employee of University of Miami.