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Corpus callosum abnormalities in Tourette syndrome: an MRI-DTI study of monozygotic twins


Background Tourette syndrome (TS) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by the presence of multiple motor and phonic tics. Recent brain imaging investigations with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) techniques found reduced measures of connectivity in the corpus callosum of children with TS compared with healthy controls, thus raising the hypothesis that the reduced interhemispherical connectivity in TS reflects neural plasticity processes.

Methods We assessed corpus callosum white-matter connectivity with fractional anisotropy (FA) index from magnetic resonance-DTI in two monozygotic twins (male sex; age 20) discordant for the diagnosis of TS.

Results Both conventional morphological magnetic resonance images and fibre-tracking reconstruction failed to show any difference between the two twins. On the other hand, mean corpus callosum FA values were significantly lower in the affected twin than in the unaffected twin (p<0.01). The differences in FA values were highest in the posterior portions of the corpus callosum, and lowest in the central area.

Conclusions Our findings of reduced interhemispherical white-matter connectivity in the affected twin support the hypothesis that plastic remodelling in the corpus callosum possibly represents an adaptation mechanism in TS.

  • MRI
  • Tourette syndrome
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