Dementia associated with dorsal midbrain lesion

K. J. Meador, D. W. Loring, K. D. Sethi, F. Yaghmai, S. D. Styren, S. T. DeKosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although the dorsal midbrain has been implicated in cognitive processes in animals, its role in humans is unclear We report the neuropsychological and postmortem neuropathological findings of a 52-yr-old university professor who developed a profound dementia in association with a focal dorsal midbrain lesion. The patient's disorder appeared to result from a tuberculous granuloma based on the clinical course and autopsy results. Neuropsychologically, he exhibited a generalized impairment across most of the cognitive domains assessed. His deficits were not explained by impaired arousal, specific sensory or motor defects, depression, or hydrocephalus. Although there are inherent limitations to a single-case investigation, our observations are consistent with animal studies that have demonstrated that focal dorsal midbrain lesions may result in cognitive impairment. We propose that the dorsal midbrain is involved in cognitive processing via modulation of thalamocortical networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Dementia
  • Mesencephalon
  • Midbrain
  • Truberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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