Premanifest Huntington's disease (pre-HD) individuals typically show increased task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), suggested to reflect compensatory strategies. Despite the evidence, no study has attempted to understand the compensatory process in light of ‘formal’ models of compensation. We used a quantitative model of compensation – the Compensation-Related Utilization of Neural Circuits Hypothesis (CRUNCH), to characterise compensation in pre-HD using fMRI. Pre-HD individuals (n = 15) and controls (n = 15) performed a modified stop-signal task that incremented in four levels of stop difficulty. Our results did not support the critical assumption of the CRUNCH model – controls did not show increased fMRI activity with increased level of stop difficulty; however, controls showed decreased fMRI activity with increased stop difficulty in right inferior frontal gyrus and right caudate nucleus. Relative to controls, pre-HD individuals showed increased fMRI activity in right inferior frontal gyrus and in right caudate nucleus at higher levels of stop difficulty, which is the opposite effect to that predicted by the model. Our findings suggest a compensatory process of the response inhibition network in pre-HD; however, the pattern of fMRI activity was not in the manner expected by CRUNCH.
- CRUNCH model
- Premanifest Huntington's disease
- Selective reporting