Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Cerebral morphometric abnormalities in Tourette's syndrome: a quantitative MRI study of monozygotic twins.

Neurology 1995 June
Although the pathologic substrate of Tourette's syndrome (TS) is unknown, studies have implicated subtle changes in the basal ganglia. To further investigate structural basal ganglia pathology in TS, we performed morphometric analyses of MRIs of 10 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for severity of TS but concordant for the presence of tic disorders (mean age, 16.3 years; range, 9 to 31 years). Right caudate volume was slightly but significantly reduced in the relatively more severely affected twins as a group compared with the less affected twins (mean difference = 6%, p < 0.01). Most of this difference was attributable to volume reduction in the anterior right caudate (p < 0.02), which was smaller in the more severely affected twin in nine of 10 twin sets. The mean volume of the left lateral ventricle was 16% smaller in the more severely affected twins than in the less severely affected twins (p < 0.01). The normal asymmetry of the lateral ventricles (left greater than right) was not present in the more severely affected twins, who had a trend toward a larger right lateral ventricle. Moreover, the difference within a pair in the degree of loss of the normal ventricular asymmetry correlated with the difference within a pair in the severity of the tic disorder (r = 0.75, p < 0.02). There were no other basal ganglia, ventricular volumetric, or asymmetry abnormalities. These findings partially replicate other MRI studies and suggest that subtle structural abnormalities in the CNS, particularly in the caudate, may play a role in the pathophysiology of TS.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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