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Clinical profiles distinct from Huntington's disease may be associated with two specific neural signatures



Clinical profiles distinct from Huntington's disease may be associated with two specific neural signatures

Cognitive-motor and psychiatric profiles of Huntington's disease show a different pattern of brain changes. Credit: IDIBELL

Researchers from the brain and brain plasticity group Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Institute of Neurosciences at the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro), with the collaboration of Radboud University in the Netherlands, have identified two specific patterns of brain disorders underlying two profiles of Huntington's disease. The study, published in Neuroimaging: Clinic, can help develop specific biomarkers and customized treatments for each profile of this rare disease.

The research, led by doctors Estela Camara and Ruth de Diego, with the researcher of the pre-researcher Clara García Gorro as the first author, expands the current knowledge about Huntington's disease. This genetic neurodegenerative disease is characterized by associated motor, cognitive and psychiatric deficits, but there is "great symptomatic heterogeneity among patients, so we decided to investigate the neurobiological basis of these differences to see if we could associate it with clinical profiles." of Diego, an ICREA researcher, explains.

For the study, the researchers used a multimodal fusion analysis technique that combines different types of MRI modalities. "This type of analysis allows us to integrate information from different modalities and thus to study the brain and the pattern of neurodegeneration in a more global way, allowing the identification of more subtle brain alterations," explains Dr. Camara.

Analysis of the relationship between disease symptoms and measures of structural changes in the white and gray matter allowed researchers to establish that cognitive and motor symptoms shared a common neurobiological basis while the psychiatric domain had a distinct neural signature.

"Cognitive and motor symptoms were associated with a pattern of reduction of gray matter, cortical thickness and white matter integrity in brain regions responsible for performing movements and processing different cognitive functions such as memory, planning or visual "Depressive symptoms, on the other hand, were associated with a very different pattern characterized by a reduced thickness in the cerebral cortex in regions responsible for emotional processing typically associated with psychiatric disorders," adds Dr. Garcia Gorro.

These results provide a new view of a disease traditionally considered as a uniform entity and promote new lines of research that take into account these individual qualitative differences. "Our results are especially relevant in the context of clinical trials because they could be used to define specific biomarkers for each symptom profile even before clinical signs appear," says Dr. Camara, adding that "we are opening a door for personalized medicine ". in Huntington's disease, as research increases the likelihood of finding individualized treatments for specific cognitive, motor and psychiatric disorders. "


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More information:
Clara Garcia-Gorro, et al. Specific patterns of brain alterations support distinct clinical profiles in Huntington's disease, NeuroImage: Clinical (2019) DOI: 101016 / j.nicl.2019.101900

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IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

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Clinical profiles distinct from Huntington's disease may be associated with two specific neural signatures (2019, June 25)
recovered on June 25, 2019
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