Using a 1.5-tesla GE Signa MR scanner, we imaged the brains of 14 right-handed Tourette's syndrome (TS) patients (11 men, three women), aged 18 to 49 years, who had minimal lifetime neuroleptic exposure. We also studied an equal number of normal controls individually matched for age, sex, and handedness and group-matched for socioeconomic status. We circumscribed basal ganglia on sequential axial images from spin-echo proton density-weighted acquisitions (TR 1,700, TE 20; slice thickness, 3 mm with 1.5-mm skip) and submitted the images for three-dimensional processing at a computer graphics workstation. Our hypothesis of lenticular nucleus volume reduction in TS was confirmed for the left- but not the right-sided nucleus. Post hoc analyses revealed smaller mean volumes of the caudate, lenticular, and globus pallidus nuclei compared with controls on both the right and left. Further analyses of basal ganglia asymmetry indices suggest that TS basal ganglia do not have the volumetric asymmetry (left greater than right) seen in normal controls. These findings confirm and extend prior phenomenologic, neuropathologic, and neuroradiologic studies that implicate the basal ganglia in the pathogenesis of TS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology