Abnormal cerebral activation associated with a motor task in Tourette syndrome

Bharat Biswal, John L. Ulmer, Robert L. Krippendorf, Harold H. Harsch, David L. Daniels, James S. Hyde, Victor M. Haughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, PET scanning and EEG suggest an abnormal organization of the sensorimotor cortex and basal ganglia. The purpose of this study was to use functional MR imaging to study activation in the sensorimotor cortex in patients with Tourette syndrome. METHODS: From echo-planar images acquired during intermittent performance of a finger-tapping task, the location of activated pixels was determined by means of conventional signal processing methods. In five patients with Tourette syndrome and five healthy volunteers, the number of activated pixels in the sensorimotor cortices and supplementary motor areas were counted. The area over which the activation was distributed was calculated. RESULTS: In the five patients, the average number of pixels activated during the finger- tapping task in the sensorimotor cortices and supplementary motor area (69.4 pixels) exceeded that in the volunteers (49.2 pixels). The difference was significant. The area over which the pixels was distributed was significantly larger (25.4 vs 13.8 cm2). CONCLUSION: Motor function is organized differently in patients with Tourette syndrome than in healthy subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1512
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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