Marchiafava Bignami disease
Type of disease: Rare conditions
Marchiafava Bignami disease is defined by characteristic demyelination of the corpus callosum (erosion of the protective covering of nerve fibers joining the 2 hemispheres of the brain). The disease seems to most often affect severe and chronic alcoholics in their middle or late adult life. Early symptoms may include depression, paranoia, psychosis, or dementia. Seizures are common, and hemiparesis, aphasia, abnormal movements, and ataxia may sometimes progress to coma and/or death. The cause of Marchiafava Bignami disease, including the potential role of nutritional deficiency, is unknown. Improvement and recovery of some individuals has been reported. Treatment focuses on nutritional support and rehabilitation from alcoholism. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.