Brain anatomical substrates of mirror movements in Kallmann syndrome

R. Manara, A. Salvalaggio, V. Citton, V. Palumbo, A. D'Errico, A. Elefante, C. Briani, E. Cantone, G. Ottaviano, M. T. Pellecchia, N. A. Greggio, L. Weis, G. D'Agosto, M. Rossato, E. De Carlo, E. Napoli, G. Coppola, F. Di Salle, A. Brunetti, G. BonanniA. A. Sinisi, A. Favaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among male patients affected by Kallmann syndrome, a genetically determined disease due to defective neural migration leading to hypogonadropic hypogonadism and hypo/anosmia, about 40% present the peculiar phenomenon of mirror movements, i.e. involuntary movements mirroring contralateral voluntary hand movements. Several pathogenic hypotheses have been proposed, but the ultimate neurological mechanisms are still elusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate brain anatomical substrates of mirror movements in Kallmann syndrome by means of a panel of quantitative MRI analyses. Forty-nine male Kallmann syndrome patients underwent brain MRI. The study protocol included 3D-T1-weighted gradient echo, fluid attenuated inversion recovery and diffusion tensor imaging. Voxel-based morphometry, sulcation, curvature and cortical thickness analyses and tract based spatial statistics were performed using SPM8, Freesurfer and FSL. All patients underwent a complete physical and neurological examination including the evaluation of mirror movements (according to the Woods and Teuber criteria).Kallmann syndrome patients presenting with mirror movements (16/49, 32%) displayed the following brain changes: 1) increased gray matter density in the depth of the left precentral sulcus behind the middle frontal gyrus; 2) decreased cortical thickness in the precentral gyrus bilaterally, in the depth of right precentral sulcus and in the posterior portion of the right superior frontal gyrus; and 3) decreased fractional anisotropy in the left hemisphere involving the temporal lobe and peritrigonal white matter. No differences were shown by cortical curvature and sulcation analyses. The composite array of brain changes observed in Kallmann syndrome patients with mirror movements likely represents the anatomical-structural underpinnings leading to the peculiar derangement of the complex circuitry committed to unilateral hand voluntary movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Brain
  • Kallmann syndrome
  • Mirror movements
  • Motor cortex
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Brain anatomical substrates of mirror movements in Kallmann syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this