Cerebellar Ataxia from Multiple Potential Causes: Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Thalamic Stimulation, and Essential Tremor

  • Natalya V. Shneyder
  • Mark K. Lyons
  • Erika Driver-Dunckley
  • Virgilio Gerald H. Evidente

Abstract

Background: Both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) can rarely be associated with cerebellar ataxia. Severe essential tremor (ET) as well as bilateral thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) may lead to subtle cerebellar signs.

Case Report: We report a 74-year-old male with hypothyroidism and a 20-year history of ET who developed cerebellar ataxia after bilateral thalamic DBS. Extensive workup revealed elevated thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroperoxidase antibody titers confirming the diagnosis of HT.

Discussion: Our case demonstrates multiple possible causes of cerebellar ataxia in a patient, including hypothyroidism, HT, chronic ET, and bilateral thalamic DBS. Counseling of patients may be appropriate when multiple risk factors for cerebellar ataxia coexist in one individual.