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Prefrontal cortical blood flow and cognitive function in Huntington's disease.
  1. D R Weinberger,
  2. K F Berman,
  3. M Iadarola,
  4. N Driesen,
  5. R F Zec
  1. Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Washington DC 20032.


    To examine the relationship between cortical physiology and dementia in Huntington's disease, rCBF during three different behavioural conditions, one of which emphasised prefrontal cognition, was determined by xenon-133 inhalation in 14 patients with Huntington's disease and in matched controls. Cortical rCBF was not reduced in Huntington's disease patients even while they manifested overt prefrontal-type cognitive deficits. Caudate atrophy on CT and rCBF were significantly correlated, but only during the prefrontal behaviour where the correlation was positive. These results suggest a qualification of the subcortical dementia concept as applied to Huntington's disease and implicate an interaction between pathology that is subcortical and cognitive function that is cortical.

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