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Neurology. 1997 Apr;48(4):927-34.

The metabolic anatomy of Tourette's syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA.


The functional brain networks underlying the clinical manifestations of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome (TS) are currently unknown. To identify these networks, we studied TS patients and normal subjects with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and PET employing a statistical model of regional metabolic covariation. We studied 10 TS patients (mean age, 41.5 +/- 12.7 years) who were either drug naive or medication free for at least 2 years. Ten normal volunteers (mean age, 42.5 +/- 11.5) served as controls. We used quantitative FDG/PET to calculate global, regional, and normalized rates of glucose metabolism (GMR, rCMRGlc, and rCMRGlc/GMR) in all subjects. The Scaled Subprofile Model (SSM) was used to identify specific patterns of regional metabolic covariation associated with TS. We found that global and regional metabolic rates were normal in TS. SSM analysis identified two TS-related brain networks. One pattern (15.8% variance accounted for, VAF) was characterized by covariate bilateral metabolic increases in lateral premotor and supplementary motor association cortices and in the midbrain. Individual patient expression of this pattern (subject score) was abnormally increased in the TS group (p < 0.01). A second pattern (10.5% VAF) was characterized by covariate decreases in caudate and thalamic metabolism associated with smaller reductions in lentiform and hippocampal metabolic activity. Subject scores for this pattern correlated with Tourette Syndrome Global Scale (TSGS) global ratings (r = 0.85, p < 0.005). We conclude that the metabolic landscape of TS is characterized by a nonspecific pattern of increased motor cortical activity identified in other hyperkinetic disorders. TS is also associated with a specific brain network characterized by a reduction in the activity of limbic basal ganglia-thalamocortical projection systems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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