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Marchiafava Bignami disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Acute Marchiafava-Bignami disease
  • Chronic Marchiafava-Bignami syndrome
  • MBD
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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).[1] The disease seems to most often affect severe and chronic alcoholics in their middle or late adult life.[2] 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.[2][1] Treatment focuses on nutritional support and rehabilitation from alcoholism.[2]
Last updated: 6/1/2011


  1. LEE GOLDMAN, DENNIS AUSIELLO. Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed. USA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007;
  2. Walter G. Bradley et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice, 5th ed.. USA: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008 ;
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