Differences in the prominence of motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms of Huntington’s disease among individuals can be attributed to differences in gray and white matter structural alterations, according to a neuroimaging study of 43 Huntington’s disease gene carriers conducted by Clara Garcia-Gorro, PhD, of the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research and Bellvitge Hospital, Barcelona, and colleagues.
Their work detected a common neurobiological basis for the carriers’ cognitive and motor symptoms in patterns of reductions in gray matter, cortical thickness, and white matter integrity in cognitive and motor networks. They also found that depressive symptoms were associated with imaging findings primarily characterized by reduced cortical thickness in limbic and paralimbic regions.
“These results are relevant in the context of clinical trials, since they could be used to define specific biomarkers for each symptom profile, even before clinical signs appear. Having more homogeneous groups would potentially increase the likelihood of detecting successful interventions and help to find individualized treatments that target specific cognitive, motor, and psychiatric disturbances,” the authors concluded.
SOURCE: Garcia-Gorro C et al. Neuroimage Clin. 2019 Jun 15. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101900.