The occurrence of sporadic prion disease among adolescents is extremely rare. A prion disease was confirmed in an adolescent with disease onset at 13 years of age. Genetic, neuropathologic, and biochemical analyses of the patient’s autopsy brain tissue were consistent with sporadic fatal insomnia, a type of sporadic prion disease. There was no evidence of an environmental source of infection, and this patient represents the youngest documented case of sporadic prion disease. Although rare, a prion disease diagnosis should not be discounted in adolescents exhibiting neurologic signs. Brain tissue testing is necessary for disease confirmation and is particularly beneficial in cases with an unusual clinical presentation.
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- prion disease
- sporadic fatal insomnia
- transmissible spongiform encephalopathy
- Accepted August 19, 2013.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics