Article

Temporal lobe asymmetry in patients with Alzheimer's disease with delusions

Università degli Studi di Brescia, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.58). 09/2000; 69(2):187-91. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.69.2.187
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To test the hypothesis that delusions are associated with asymmetric involvement of the temporal lobe regions in Alzheimer's disease.
Temporal lobe atrophy was assessed with a linear measure of width of the temporal horn (WTH) taken from CT films. Temporal asymmetry was computed as the right/left (R/L) ratio of the WTH in 22 non-delusional and 19 delusional patients with Alzheimer's disease. Delusional patients had paranoid delusions (of theft, jealousy, persecution). None of the patients had misidentifications or other delusions of non-paranoid content.
The R/L ratio indicated symmetric temporal horn size in the non-delusional (mean 1. 05 (SD 0.20), and right greater than left temporal horn in the delusional patients (mean 1.30, (SD 0.46); t=2.27, df=39, p=0.03). When patients were stratified into three groups according to the R/L ratio, 47% of the delusional (9/19) and 14% of the non-delusional patients (3/21; chi(2)=5.6, df=1, p=0.02) showed right markedly greater than left WTH.
Predominantly right involvement of the medial temporal lobe might be a determinant of paranoid delusions in the mild stages of Alzheimer's disease.

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