einstein (São Paulo). 04/Jul/2018;16(2):eRC4011.

X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease): the first case described in the Brazilian Amazon

Camila Nascimento Alves, Tiago Kiyoshi Kitabayashi Braga, Danusa Neves Somensi, Bruno Sérgio Vilhena do Nascimento, José Antônio Santos de Lima, Satomi Fujihara

DOI: 10.1590/S1679-45082018RC4011


The X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease) is a rare X-linked, recessive, lower motor neuron disease, characterized by weakness, atrophy, and fasciculations of the appendicular and bulbar muscle. The disease is caused by an expansion of the CAG repetition in the androgen receptor gene. Patients with Kennedy’s disease have more than 39 CAG repetitions. We report a case of 57-year-old man, resident of Monte Dourado (PA, Brazil) who complained of brachiocrural paresis evolving for 3 years along with fasciculations and tremors of extremities. In addition, he also developed dysarthria, dysphagia, and sexual dysfunction. The patient clinical picture included gait impairment, global hyporeflexia, proximal muscle atrophy of upper limbs, deviation of the uvula to right during phonation and tongue atrophy with fasciculations. The patient reported that about 30 years ago he had undergone gynecomastia surgery. His electroneuromyography suggested spinal muscular atrophy, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging showed tapering of the cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Patient’s creatine kinase level was elevated. In view of the findings, an exam was requested to investigate Kennedy’s disease. The exam identified 46 CAG repetitions in the androgen receptor gene, which confirmed the diagnostic suspicion. This was the first case of Kennedy’s disease diagnosed and described in the Brazilian Amazon. To our knowledge only other four papers were published on this disease in Brazilian patients. A brief review is also provided on etiopathogenic, clinical and diagnostic aspects.

X-linked spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s disease): the first case described in the Brazilian Amazon