Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus associated with anti-GlyR antibodies and Hodgkin's lymphoma: A case report

Linda Borellini, Silvia Lanfranconi, Sara Bonato, Ilaria Trezzi, Giulia Franco, Lorella Torretta, Nereo Bresolin, Alessio Barnaba Di Fonzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: A 60-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of low back pain and progressive rigidity of the trunk and lower limbs, followed by pruritus, dysphonia, hyperhydrosis, and urinary retention. Brain and spinal imaging were normal. EMG showed involuntary motor unit hyperactivity. Onconeural, antiglutamic acid decarboxylase (anti-GAD), voltage-gated potassium channel, and dipeptidyl peptidase-like protein 6 (DPPX) autoantibodies were negative. CSF was negative. Symptoms were partially responsive to baclofen, gabapentin, and clonazepam, but he eventually developed severe dysphagia. Antiglycine receptor (anti-GlyR) antibodies turned out positive on both serum and CSF. A plasmapheresis cycle was completed with good clinical response. A PET scan highlighted an isolated metabolically active axillary lymphnode that turned out to be a classic type Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), in the absence of bone marrow infiltration nor B symptoms. Polychemotherapy with ABVD protocol was completed with good clinical response and at 1-year follow-up the neurological examination is normal. Background: Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM) is a rare and severe neurological syndrome characterized by muscular rigidity and spasms as well as brain stem and autonomic dysfunction. It can be associated with anti-GAD, GlyR, and DPPX antibodies. All of these autoantibodies may be variably associated with malignant tumors and their response to immunotherapy, as well as to tumor removal, is not easily predictable. Conclusion: Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus has already been described in association with HL, but this is the first case report of a HL manifesting as anti-GlyR antibodies related PERM. Our report highlights the importance of malignancy screening in autoimmune syndromes of suspected paraneoplastic origin.

Original languageEnglish
Article number401
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume8
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2017

Keywords

  • Glycine receptor antibodies
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Paraneoplastic syndromes
  • Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus
  • Stiff person syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus associated with anti-GlyR antibodies and Hodgkin's lymphoma: A case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this