Neuropsychiatric manifestations in CADASIL

Department of Neurology, Hopital Lariboisière, Université Paris VII, Denis Diderot, Paris, France.
Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 02/2007; 9(2):199-208.
Source: PubMed


Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy(CADASIL) is an inherited small-artery disease of mid-adulthood caused by mutations of the NOTCH3 gene. The disease is responsible for widespread white-matter Iesions associated with lacunar infarctions in varinus subcortical areas. The disease is responsible for migraine with aura and ischemic strokes, and is associated with various degrees of cognitive impairment and with mood disturbances. CADASIL is considered as a unique model to investigate what is known as "subcortical ischemic vascular dementia. "Recent data suggest
that the number of lacunar infarctions and severity of cerebral atrophy are the main magnetic resonance imaging markers associated with cognitive and motor disabilities in this disorder. Mood disturbances are reported in 10% to 20% of patients, most often in association with cognitive alterations. Their exact origin remains unknown; the presence of ischemic lesions within the basal ganglia or the frontal white matter may promote the occurrence of these symptoms. Further studies are needed to better understand the relationships between cerebral lesions and both cognitive and psychiatric symptoms in this small-vessel disease of the brain.

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    • "Testing which is particularly sensitive for the detection of the early cognitive changes can then be performed such as digit span back-forwards, TMT-B, Stroop, and WCST tests. These tests have revealed that patients with CADASIL show preservation of encoding processes even though memory retrieval is impaired [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an inherited cerebrovascular disease, clinically characterized by variable manifestations of migraine, recurrent transient ischemic attack or lacunar strokes, cognitive decline, and mood disturbances. However, manic episodes have rarely been documented as an initial symptom of CADASIL and bipolar disorder presenting as the first manifestation in CADASIL has not been reported previously from evaluations by psychiatrists or psychological testing by psychologists. Case presentation A 53 year old woman developed symptoms of mania in her 50s leading to a personality change involving a continuously labile mood and irritability over a number of years. Neuropsychological testing revealed an intact memory, but impairment in attention and executive function. In the Rorschach test, she showed a high level of cognitive rigidity. Magnetic resonance imaging findings were very consistent with a diagnosis of CADASIL, which was confirmed by genetic testing for NOTCH3 mutations. Atypical antipsychotics proved to be helpful in treating her manic symptoms and for behavior control. Conclusion We present a novel case of CADASIL that first presented as bipolar disorder. We contend that when patients show a late onset personality change or chronically irritable mood that deteriorates over many years, an organic cause such as CADASIL must be considered. Further studies are needed to better understand the exact impacts of cerebral tissue lesions and psychiatric symptoms in CADASIL patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "The data support the notion that overall the BG function is altered compared with healthy volunteers, and that frequency of attacks would seem to further alter this processing. In addition, standard MR studies of migraine patients have reported lesions [18,19] in the basal ganglia; potentially favoring the interpretation that such changes are caused by the increased migraine frequency rather than causing the frequency to increase. In support of this, migraine is reportedly more frequent in patients with known basal ganglia disorders [26],. "
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    ABSTRACT: With time, episodes of migraine headache afflict patients with increased frequency, longer duration and more intense pain. While episodic migraine may be defined as 1-14 attacks per month, there are no clear-cut phases defined, and those patients with low frequency may progress to high frequency episodic migraine and the latter may progress into chronic daily headache (> 15 attacks per month). The pathophysiology of this progression is completely unknown. Attempting to unravel this phenomenon, we used high field (human) brain imaging to compare functional responses, functional connectivity and brain morphology in patients whose migraine episodes did not progress (LF) to a matched (gender, age, age of onset and type of medication) group of patients whose migraine episodes progressed (HF). In comparison to LF patients, responses to pain in HF patients were significantly lower in the caudate, putamen and pallidum. Paradoxically, associated with these lower responses in HF patients, gray matter volume of the right and left caudate nuclei were significantly larger than in the LF patients. Functional connectivity analysis revealed additional differences between the two groups in regard to response to pain. Supported by current understanding of basal ganglia role in pain processing, the findings suggest a significant role of the basal ganglia in the pathophysiology of the episodic migraine.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Molecular Pain
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarct and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is the most common hereditary subcortical vascular dementia. It is caused by the defective NOTCH3 gene, which encodes a transmembrane receptor; over 170 different mutations are known. The main clinical features are migraine with aura (often atypical or isolated), strokes, cognitive decline/dementia and psychiatric symptoms. Executive and organizing cognitive functions are impaired first, memory is affected late. Typical MRI findings are T2 weighted hyperintensities in temporopolar white matter and the capsula externa. Smooth muscle cells in small arteries throughout the body degenerate and vessel walls become fibrotic. In the brain, this results in circulatory disturbances and lacunar infarcts, mainly in cerebral white matter and deep gray matter. The exact pathogenesis is still open: a dominant-negative toxic effect is suggested, possibly related to Notch3 misfolding. Diagnosis is reached either by identifying a pathogenic NOTCH3 mutation or by electron microscopic demonstration of granular osmiophilic material in a (skin) biopsy. Only symptomatic treatment is available at present.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Future Neurology
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