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Konzo

Konzo (Eeg-Eedebol-Olofsson): Some research projects have been performed far away from the laboratory. Konzo is a subacute spastic para/tetraparesis affecting patients in central Africa and is related to intake of bitter cassava. In 1997, two patients with spastic paraparesis were brought to Uppsala. No response was obtained with magnetic cortical stimulation in clinically normal arm muscles with normal strength. This needed further studies.
In the years of 1998 and 2000, equipment for neurophysiological investigations was brought to Kinshasa, Kongo, to study patients with Konzo. The EEG showed an abnorm slowing of the background activity and SEP studies revealed prolonged latencies of the cortical responses. Motor responses evoked by cortical stimulation had prolonged latencies as well. Small motor unit potentials were found with EMG and the muscle biopsies described atrophic muscle fibers, however nerve conduction studies were normal.

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