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Neurology. 1993 May;43(5):950-6.

Volumetric MRI changes in basal ganglia of children with Tourette's syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.


To define the site of pathology in Tourette's syndrome (TS), we performed a volumetric MRI study of basal ganglia structures and lateral ventricles on 37 children with this disorder and 18 controls. There were no statistically significant differences in the size of the right or left caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, or ventricles in these populations. In contrast, there were significant differences for measures of symmetry in the putamen and the lenticular region. Virtually all controls (17 right- and one left-handed) had a left-sided predominance of the putamen, whereas in 13 of 37 TS subjects, a right predominance exceeded that of any control. Statistical comparisons among TS patients, with (n = 18) or without (n = 19) attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and controls showed significant differences for the volume of the left globus pallidus and for lenticular asymmetry. Post hoc evaluations showed that in the TS + ADHD group, the volume of the left globus pallidus was significantly smaller than the volume of the right and that lenticular asymmetry was due to a greater right-sided predominance in the TS+ADHD group. This study lends further support to proposals that claim the basal ganglia is involved in the pathogenesis of TS and also suggests that the comorbid problem of ADHD is related to regional changes that differ from those primarily associated with tics.

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