Clinical and electrodiagnostic findings in copper deficiency myeloneuropathy

B. P. Goodman, E. P. Bosch, M. A. Ross, C. Hoffman-Snyder, D. D. Dodick, B. E. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Introduction: Copper deficiency is an increasingly recognised cause of neurological impairment. This retrospective review highlights clinical and electrodiagnostic findings in patients diagnosed at our institution with copper deficiency. Methods: Clinical, radiographic and electrodiagnostic findings were reviewed in patients with evidence of copper deficiency. Patients with other potential causes of myelopathy or neuropathy were excluded. Results: The predominant clinical feature in all six patients was a sensory ataxia, resulting in marked gait unsteadiness. Nerve conduction studies and needle EMG were performed in all patients and revealed a mild to moderate distal, axonal, sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy. Median and tibial somatosensory evoked potentials were abnormal in all five patients in which it was performed, showing impaired conduction in central or proximal peripheral somatosensory pathways. Conclusions: This pattern of electrodiagnostic findings suggests that impairment in somatosensory pathways demonstrated by somatosensory evoked potential testing is the main cause of the sensory ataxia in patients with copper deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-527
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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