Objective: A 70-year-old right-handed man presented with a subthalamic infarction followed by persistent hypersexuality and hemiballism. A lacunar infarction 1 cm in diameter was observed on magnetic resonance imaging. We hypothesized that metabolic abnormalities would be detected in cortical areas related to his neurobehavioral symptoms.
Background: Statistical validation of the regional metabolic changes that may relate to neuropsychiatric symptoms has been elusive. Relating metabolic changes to neuropsychiatric symptoms is especially important in unique neurobehavioral cases.
Method: Quantitative fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography was obtained for a single-subject comparison with scans from 60 healthy subjects.
Results: Substantial glucose hypometabolism (p <0.001, uncorrected; [df = 56]) was identified in the subthalamic nucleus at the site of the lacunar infarction. Hypermetabolism (p <0.01) was identified within the basal forebrain and temporal lobes, anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices (areas previously associated with hypersexuality), and striatum (p <0.001) ipsilateral to the stroke (areas known to relate to hemiballism).
Conclusions: Single-subject statistical parametric mapping may improve our understanding of unique neurobehavioral cases.