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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: May 2011

Case 25 - Case of young man smoking pot but with a mother who died of dementia


This chapter talks about Mary who was admitted to Tertiary Hospital in early June of 2003 having stumbled to the ground being unable to get up. CT of her head confirmed general parenchymal volume loss with decreased attenuation periventricularly. No significant areas of ischemia or space-occupying lesions were noted. PET scan was suggestive of a neurodegenerative process of Alzheimer's type. No scan evidence of frontal lobe dementia. The diagnosis prior to the PET scan being performed was frontotemporal dementia. The final clinical diagnosis after the PET scan and on discharge was that of Alzheimer's type dementia. She was not started on acetylcholine esterase therapy. She was discharged to a low level residential facility. This case is interesting in that it does not on face value fit into one category of neurodegenerative disorders. False beliefs related to misinterpretation of the environment due to significant visual impairment is known as Charles-Bonnet syndrome.

References and further reading

ArataJ, TakashimaH, HiranoR, et al. (2006). Early clinical signs and imaging findings in Gerstmann–Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (Pro102Leu). Neurology, 66, 1672–8.
HsiaoK, BakerHF, CrowTJ, et al. (1989). Linkage of a prion protein missense variant to Gerstmann–Sträussler syndrome. Nature, 338, 342–5.
RobitailleY, WoodP, EtienneP, et al. (1982). Reduced cortical choline acetyltransferase activity in Gertsmann–Sträussler syndrome. Prog NeuroPsychopharmacology, 6, 529–31.