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Hiding in plain sight: a closer look at posterior cortical atrophy
  1. Shin C Beh1,2,
  2. Brinda Muthusamy3,
  3. Peter Calabresi1,
  4. John Hart2,4,
  5. David Zee1,
  6. Vivek Patel2,
  7. Elliot Frohman3,5
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, UT Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shin C Beh, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Pathology Building, Room 625, 600 N. Wolfe St, Baltimore MD 21287, USA; scjbeh{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome dominated by deterioration of higher visual function (particularly visuospatial and visuoperceptual abilities). It is most commonly due to Alzheimer's disease pathology, but may also be caused by dementia with Lewy bodies, corticobasal degeneration or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Patients often present to optometrists, ophthalmologists and/or neurologists with non-specific visual complaints, and unless clinicians seek the specific symptoms and signs of PCA (beyond that of the ‘standard’ neurological examination), this infrequent disorder is easily missed, delaying its diagnosis and treatment. We review the clinical features of PCA, focusing on its visual manifestations, to help neurologists recognise this important syndrome.

  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy
  • Balint's syndrome
  • Simultanagnosia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Neuro-ophthalmology

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