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Brain. 1997 Jul;120 ( Pt 7):1217-28.

Mirror movements in X-linked Kallmann's syndrome. II. A PET study.

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  • 1Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.


To investigate the mechanism of mirror movements seen in X-linked Kallmann's syndrome, we measured changes of regional cerebral blood flow with H2 15O-PET. We studied six right-handed Kallmann male subjects and six matched, right-handed control subjects during an externally paced finger opposition task. The analyses were done both on a single subject and a group basis. The Kallmann group showed a strong primary motor cortex (M1) activation contralateral to the voluntarily moved hand, but there was also a significant degree of M1 activation ipsilateral to the voluntarily moved hand, i.e. contralateral to the mirroring hand. However, when comparing contralateral to ipsilateral M1 activation, the M1 activation contralateral to the voluntarily moved hand was significantly stronger. In the controls, significant increases in rCBF were seen in the contralateral M1 during voluntary movement of either hand; a small ipsilateral M1 activation was found in two out of six normal subjects when they moved their left hand. In a second experiment it was shown that, in two out of two Kallmann subjects, passive movements of the right hand resulted in left M1 activation that was similar to the activation in the left M1 when subjects made mirror movements with their right hand. This suggests, but does not prove, that the small but significant activation of the ipsilateral M1 in Kallmann's subjects may be due to sensory feedback from the involuntarily mirroring hand.

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