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J Neurol. 1992 Jan;239(1):36-8.

Neurological disorders in 166 patients with basal ganglia calcification: a statistical evaluation.

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Psychiatrische Klinik, Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit, Mannheim, Federal Republic of Germany.


Patients investigated at our institute during the last decade included 166 (1.2%) who showed uni- or bilateral basal ganglia calcification on computed tomography. We tested the significance of this neuroradiological observation by statistical comparison of these patients' clinical disorders with the findings in a random sample of 622 patients without basal ganglia calcification. The odds for the most common neurological disturbances were similar in patients with and without basal ganglia calcification. After adjustment for differences in age and brain atrophy there was no evidence of a significantly increased risk of dementia (odds ratio 1.1), cerebral infarction (1.4), epilepsy (0.9), vertigo (1.6), headache (1.8), or alcoholism (0.9), which represented the most common diagnoses. We conclude that basal ganglia calcification cannot be considered as a clinically relevant neuroradiological finding in the majority of cases and that it should not be used as an explanation for frequently observed neurological disturbances.

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