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Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jun;11(6):637-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.2121. Epub 2008 May 18.

Thinning of sensorimotor cortices in children with Tourette syndrome.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles, 635 Charles Young Drive South, Suite 225, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


The basal ganglia portions of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits have consistently been implicated in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome, whereas motor and sensorimotor cortices in these circuits have been relatively overlooked. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we detected cortical thinning in frontal and parietal lobes in groups of Tourette syndrome children relative to controls. This thinning was most prominent in ventral portions of the sensory and motor homunculi that control the facial, orolingual and laryngeal musculature that is commonly involved in tic symptoms. Correlations of cortical thickness in sensorimotor regions with tic symptoms suggest that these brain regions are important in the pathogenesis of Tourette syndrome.

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