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OBJECTIVES—To analyse the clinical features
induced by lenticular infarction found in 20 patients, and to analyse
the radiological and clinical correlations.
METHODS—Eight women and 12 men, mean age 73 years, were included in this study, which was carried out from 1 January 1994 to 30 November 1996. They were characterised by the onset of a lenticular infarction, shown by CT and MRI. A complete neurological and neurocognitive examination, and photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), were performed in all the patients and there was a long clinical follow up.
RESULTS—Two distinct clinical syndromes were identified corresponding to the two anatomical areas of the lenticular nucleus: behavioural and cognitive disorders were associated with infarcts within the globus pallidus, whereas both motor disorders (dystonia) and cognitive disorders were associated with infarcts within the putamen. Outcome was excellent in all the patients for motor function, but slight cognitive disorders, problems with short term memory, and dysphasia persisted for several months. The size of the lesion did not explain these symptoms. By contrast, the slight reduction in cerebral blood flow found in the adjacent frontotemporal area may explain them by a deafferentation or a diaschisis phenomenon.
CONCLUSION—It is possible to identify the clinical symptoms of a single lesion in the pallidus nucleus and in the putaminal nucleus, in which behavioural, cognitive, and movements disorders are important. After an acute and spectacular onset, outcome is in general excellent. A disease of the small arteries must be involved.