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Reduced regional cerebral blood flow in Huntington's disease studied by SPECT.
  1. S G Hasselbalch,
  2. G Oberg,
  3. S A Sørensen,
  4. A R Andersen,
  5. G Waldemar,
  6. J F Schmidt,
  7. K Fenger,
  8. O B Paulson
  1. Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, University State Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


    Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was studied in 18 patients with Huntington's disease (HD) and 19 age- and sex-matched controls with high resolution single photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT), using Tc-99m-HMPAO. Significant reductions in tracer uptake were found in the caudate and lentiform nuclei (20 and 8%) and in the cerebral cortex, especially in the frontal and parietal areas (11-13%). No significant reductions were found in the thalamus, mesial temporal cortex, and occipital cortex. Fourteen patients had neuropsychological testing. Relationship between rCBF and cognitive function was tested by regression analysis. A linear relationship was found between test scores of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Picture Arrangement Test and blood flow in the caudate nucleus. Other tests of cognitive function (Block Design Test, Face and Word Recognition Test, Street Fragmented Pictures Test, and Similarities Test) correlated better with flow in the cortical regions believed to be involved in solving those particular tests. These findings indicate, that blood flow is reduced in both cortical and subcortical structures in symptomatic HD, and that both reductions in cortical and subcortical blood flow may be related to cognitive function in HD.

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