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Components of posterior cortical atrophy
  1. Masud Husain
  1. Correspondence to Professor Masud Husain, UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK; m.husain{at}

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Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterised by progressive deficits involving a constellation of higher-order visual functions.1 Most patients who have been studied through to postmortem have pathology consistent with Alzheimer's disease, but some cases have underlying corticobasal degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies or even prion disease. Structural imaging may reveal bilateral posterior atrophy, while SPECT scans may show evidence of posterior hypoperfusion, often involving occipital, parietal and temporal regions bilaterally. Andrade et al2 report that leftward visual inattention (one component of the PCA syndrome that can be found in some patients) is associated with right parietal and frontal atrophy, and hypoperfusion.

Although described as an entity only relatively recently, increasing awareness of PCA among clinicians is leading to identification of more cases. But despite greater knowledge about …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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