Genetic prion disease: D178N with 129MV disease modifying polymorphism - A clinical phenotype

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Background Human prion diseases are a group of rare neurological diseases with a minority due to genetic mutations in the prion protein (PRNP) gene. The D178N mutation is associated with both Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and fatal familial insomnia with the phenotype modified by a polymorphism at codon 129 with the methionine/valine (MV) polymorphism associated with atypical presentations leading to diagnostic difficulty. Case We present a case of fatal familial insomnia secondary to a PRNP D178N mutation with 129MV disease modifying polymorphism who had no family history, normal MRI, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and positron emission tomography findings and a negative real-time quaking-induced conversion result. Conclusion Patients with genetic prion disease may have no known family history and normal EEG, MRI brain and CSF findings. PRNP gene testing should be considered for patients with subacute progressive neurological and autonomic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000074
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ Neurology Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • clinical neurology
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • neurogenetics
  • prion

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