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Neurology. 1992 Sep;42(9):1791-7.

Paralimbic frontal lobe hypometabolism in depression associated with Huntington's disease.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.


We measured regional cerebral glucose metabolism using 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose and positron emission tomography in depressed and nondepressed patients with early Huntington's disease (HD), compared with appropriately matched controls. Caudate, putamen, and cingulate metabolism was significantly lower in patients with HD than in control subjects, independent of mood state. Orbital frontal-inferior prefrontal cortex hypometabolism, however, differentiated depressed patients from both nondepressed patients and normal controls. These findings implicate selective dysfunction of the paralimbic regions of the frontal lobes in the mood disorder of HD. The metabolic pattern is similar to that in depression associated with Parkinson's disease, suggesting that the integrity of pathways linking paralimbic frontal cortex and the basal ganglia may be integral to the normal regulation of mood.

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