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Psychiatry Res. 2007 Feb 28;154(2):181-90. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Validity of large-deformation high dimensional brain mapping of the basal ganglia in adults with Tourette syndrome.

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Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The basal ganglia and thalamus may play a critical role for behavioral inhibition mediated by prefrontal, parietal, temporal, and cingulate cortices. The cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop with projections from frontal cortex to striatum, then to globus pallidus or to substantia nigra pars reticulata, to thalamus and back to cortex, provides the anatomical substrate for this function. In-vivo neuroimaging studies have reported reduced volumes in the thalamus and basal ganglia in individuals with Tourette Syndrome (TS) when compared with healthy controls. However, patterns of neuroanatomical shape that may be associated with these volume differences have not yet been consistently characterized. Tools are being developed at a rapid pace within the emerging field of computational anatomy that allow for the precise analysis of neuroanatomical shape derived from magnetic resonance (MR) images, and give us the ability to characterize subtle abnormalities of brain structures that were previously undetectable. In this study, T1-weighted MR scans were collected in 15 neuroleptic-naïve adults with TS or chronic motor tics and 15 healthy, tic-free adult subjects matched for age, gender and handedness. We demonstrated the validity and reliability of large-deformation high dimensional brain mapping (HDBM-LD) as a tool to characterize the basal ganglia (caudate, globus pallidus and putamen) and thalamus. We found no significant volume or shape differences in any of the structures in this small sample of subjects.

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