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A – C.A.N.V.A.S (CEREBELLAR ATAXIA, NEURONOPATHY AND VESTIBULAR AREFLEXIA WITH AUTONOMIC DYSFUNCTION): A FASCINATING CLINICAL PORTRAIT

Carlo Canepa-Raggio

Department of Neurology, James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK

57-year-old male patient with a 30-year history chronic cough, balance difficulties (most noticeable in the dark), ataxia and sensory neuropathy. There was also evidence of orthostatic hypotension and hypohydrosis. Examination revealed downbeat nystagmus, an abnormal visually-enhanced vestibulo-ocular reflex, length-dependent sensory neuropathy, high-stepping tandem ataxia and bilateral dysmetria. MRI brain shows marked vermian cerebellar atrophy (more noticeable in lobes VI and VIIa/b) and nerve conduction studies reveal absent sensory conductions (ganglionopathy). Genetic testing for Friedrich’s ataxia, spinocerebellar ataxia and hereditary motor sensory neuropathy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) were all negative. Sural nerve biopsy showed pattern of severe loss of myelinated fibres. This patient was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia, neuronopathy (ganglionopathy) and vestibular areflexia with autonomic dysfunction.