American journal of ophthalmology

Behr's syndrome and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria.

PMID 1384336


We examined three patients from two families of Jewish-Iraqi origin who had progressive reduction of visual acuity and childhood onset of bilateral optic nerve atrophy without additional retinal abnormalities. They had neurologic symptoms compatible with Behr's syndrome. Neurologic signs included increased tendon reflexes, a positive Babinski sign, progressive spastic paraplegia, dysarthria, head nodding, and horizontal nystagmus. Neurologic involvement varied between affected siblings. The patients excreted excessive amounts of 3-methylglutaconic acid and 3-methylglutaric acid in their urine. We compared the characteristic ophthalmic features and the spectrum of neurologic signs encountered in this recently delineated autosomal recessive clinical entity with those of previously described entities associated with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. Patients with early-onset optic atrophy should be examined for neurologic signs and screened for organic aciduria. A detailed ophthalmic examination is important in patients with neurologic abnormalities compatible with Behr's syndrome.

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