Menkes' disease is an X-linked disorder caused by impaired intracellular transport of copper. Currently, no therapy effectively arrests the relentless neurodegeneration of Menkes' disease. Previous neuroimaging reports of patients with Menkes' disease describe a range of abnormalities, including intracranial vessel tortuosity and cerebral white matter changes. We report two infants with Menkes' disease who developed ischemic cerebrovascular disease early in infancy. Magnetic resonance studies, including diffusion-weighted imaging and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, demonstrated bilateral infarctions of deep gray matter nuclei, a finding not previously described in Menkes' disease. Potential mechanisms for these cerebrovascular lesions in Menkes' disease include the susceptibility to free radical attack and inadequate energy supply from oxidative phosphorylation. These infarctions may play an unrecognized but important role in the neurodegeneration of children with Menkes' disease. The development of effective therapeutic agents against this disease will require a more detailed understanding of such underlying mechanisms. (C) 2000 by Elsevier Science Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology