Theoretical basis: Kennedy’s disease (KD) is also known as spinal bulbar muscular dystrophy. Because the symptoms of KD are similar to most neuromuscular diseases, it is difficult to make a rapid clinical diagnosis. Patient case: We report the case of a 50-year-old man who was diagnosed with “lumbar disc herniation” five years ago because of progressive proximal limb weakness. After his initial diagnosis, his condition worsened gradually, and a muscle biopsy was performed 3 years ago, and he was then diagnosed with “motor neuron disease”, but he had no such family history. His physical examination showed female breast development, erectile dysfunction, a weakness of the quadriceps femoris, a bilateral tendon reflex, and atrophy of the tongue muscle. One year ago, it was found that his blood sugar had increased, and when oral hypoglycemic drugs were given, his blood glucose control was not ideal. At the same time, it was found that his creatine kinase continued to increase significantly. He was admitted to the hospital again because of the aggravation of his walking difficulties. Diagnosis: A laboratory examination showed elevated creatine kinase, an impaired glucose tolerance, and abnormal lactate values. The diagnosis was confirmed using a genetic analysis, which showed a repeated amplification of CAG in the androgen receptor gene. Intervention measures and results: After this diagnosis, the patient had a good prognosis after receiving symptomatic treatment. Lesson: Genetic testing is the key to the diagnosis of KD. Clinicians should make a differential diagnosis, an early diagnosis, and provide treatment as soon as possible according to the patient’s clinical manifestations and laboratory examination.
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