Involvement of motor pathways in corticobasal syndrome detected by diffusion tensor tractography


  • Potential conflict of interest. None reported.


Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) is a progressive parkinsonian disease characterized by cortical and subcortical neuronal loss. Although motor disabilities are a core feature of CBS, the involvement of motor pathways in this condition has not been completely clarified. We used magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study corticospinal and transcallosal motor projections in CBS, and applied fiber tractography to analyze the axonal integrity of white matter projections. Ten patients with CBS were compared with 10 age-matched healthy controls. Fiber tracts were computed using a Monte-Carlo simulation approach. Tract-specific mean values of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) were determined. CBS patients showed a reduction of corticospinal tract (CST) fibers on the first affected side with significantly increased ADC and reduced FA values. In the corpus callosum (CC), particularly in the posterior trunk, patients also had significantly reduced fiber projections, with a higher ADC and lower FA than controls. This pattern indicates changes of the white matter integrity in both CST and CC. Thus, magnetic resonance DTI can be used to assess motor pathway involvement in CBS patients. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society