Copper Deficiency Myelopathy

Neeraj Kumar, Brian Crum, Ronald C. Petersen, Steven A. Vernino, J. Eric Ahlskog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background: In humans, Menkes disease is the well-recognized neurological disorder due to inherited copper deficiency. Myelopathy due to acquired copper deficiency is not a well-recognized entity in humans, although myelopathy due to copper deficiency is well documented in some animal species. Patients: We describe 3 patients who developed a progressive spastic-ataxic gait with proprioceptive deficits. All patients had a severe reduction in serum ceruloplasmin and copper levels. Results: All patients had evidence of posterior column dysfunction clinically and on somatosensory evoked potential studies. Two had a signal change in the posterior column on magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord. Conclusions: Patients presenting with otherwise unexplained myelopathies should have their serum ceruloplasmin level measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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