Cerebral glucose metabolism was studied by positron emission tomography with [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose in 12 patients with chorea due to different underlying diseases. The striatal 18F-Dopa uptake was also studied with 6-l-[18F]fluorodopa in 6 of them. Five of them were diagnosed as Huntington's disease two were as 'sporadic progressive chorea and dementia' with characteristic symptoms and signs of Huntington's disease but no family histories, two were as choreoacanthocytosis, and two had hemichorea caused by suspected vascular lesions in the contralateral striatum revealed by MRI. Caudate and putaminal glucose metabolism decreased in chorea compared to the controls. Hemichorea showed decreased glucose metabolism only in the contralateral striatum. Moreover the glucose metabolism decreased in demented each 7 patients in the frontal, temporal and parietal cortices as well as in the striatum. The caudate and putaminal 18F-Dopa uptake in patients with chorea showed no difference with that in the controls. The pathogenetic mechanism of chorea may involve decreased glucose metabolism and normal presynaptic dopaminergic activity in the striatum, and that of the demented state in chorea may also involve an additional decrease of the glucose metabolism in the frontal, temporal and parietal cortices.
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