To compare clinical and imaging features of patients with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) with and without well-formed visual hallucinations.
Tertiary care medical center
Fifty-nine patients fulfilling criteria for PCA were retrospectively identified, and divided into two groups based on the presence (N=13) and absence (N=46) of visual hallucinations. Both groups were then compared statistically for clinical differences, as well as with voxel-based morphometry (VBM) for imaging differences.
In PCA patients with hallucinations, parkinsonism and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder occurred more frequently (p<0.0001), as did myoclonic jerks (p=0.0002). VBM analysis showed greater atrophy in a network of structures, including the primary visual cortex, lentiform nuclei, thalamus, basal forebrain and midbrain in the patients with hallucinations.
Hallucinations in patients with PCA are associated with parkinsonism, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, and myoclonic jerks. The results from the VBM analysis suggest that hallucinations in PCA cannot be exclusively attributed to atrophy of the posterior association cortices and may involve a circuit of thalamocortical connections.