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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.7 no.2 São Paulo Apr./June 2013

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1980-57642013DN70200003 

VIEWS & REVIEWS

Basal ganglia calcification as a putative cause for cognitive decline

Calcificações em núcleos da base como causas possíveis de declínio cognitivo

João Ricardo Mendes de Oliveira1 

Matheus Fernandes de Oliveira2 

1Neuropsychiatric Department - Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Recife PE, Brazil.

2Neurosurgery Residency Program. Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil.

ABSTRACT

Basal ganglia calcifications (BGC) may be present in various medical conditions, such as infections, metabolic, psychiatric and neurological diseases, associated with different etiologies and clinical outcomes, including parkinsonism, psychosis, mood swings and dementia. A literature review was performed highlighting the main neuropsychological findings of BGC, with particular attention to clinical reports of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging studies combined with neuropsychological analysis show that some patients have shown progressive disturbances of selective attention, declarative memory and verbal perseveration. Therefore, the calcification process might represent a putative cause for dementia syndromes, suggesting a probable link among calcinosis, the aging process and eventually with neuronal death. The increasing number of reports available will foster a necessary discussion about cerebral calcinosis and its role in determining symptomatology in dementia patients

Key words: basal ganglia; dementia; calcinosis

RESUMO

As calcificações dos gânglios da base (BGC) podem estar presentes em diversas condições médicas, como infecções, doenças metabólicas, psiquiátricas e neurológicas, associadas a diferentes etiologias e desfechos clínicos, incluindo parkinsonismo, psicose, alterações de humor e demência. Realizamos revisão da literatura destacando os principais achados neuropsicológicos das BGC, com especial atenção para os relatos de declínio cognitivo. Estudos de neuroimagem combinados com análise neuropsicológica mostram que alguns pacientes apresentam distúrbios progressivos de atenção seletiva, memória declarativa e perseverança verbal. Portanto, o processo de calcificação pode representar uma causa imputável para síndromes demenciais, sugerindo uma provável ligação entre a calcinose, o processo de envelhecimento e a morte neuronal. O número crescente de relatos disponíveis promoverá uma discussão necessária sobre calcinose cerebral e seu papel na determinação da sintomatologia em pacientes demenciais.

Palavras-chave: núcleos da base; demência; calcificações

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Full text available only in PDF format.

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Received: November 28, 2012; Accepted: February 18, 2013

Matheus Fernandes de Oliveira. Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo - Rua Pedro de Toledo, 1800 - 04029-000 São Paulo SP - Brazil. E-mail: mafernoliv@yahoo.com.br

Disclosure: The authors report no conflicts of interest

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