Whole-brain voxel-based morphometry study of children and adolescents with Down syndrome

Filippo Carducci, Paolo Onorati, Claudia Condoluci, Giancarlo Di Gennaro, Pier Paolo Quarato, Alberto Pierallini, Marco Sarà, Silvia Miano, Riccardo Cornia, Giorgio Albertini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to investigate alterations in brain morphology and a possible temporal pattern of neuroanatomical abnormalities in the gray matter (GM), white matter (WM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of young patients with Down syndrome (DS), high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was performed on 21 children and adolescents with this chromosomal aberration and 27 age-matched participants as controls. In comparison with control subjects, children and adolescents with DS showed not only an overall smaller whole-brain volume, but also volume reductions of the GM in the cerebellum, frontal lobes, frontal region of the limbic lobe, parahippocampal gyri and hippocampi and of the WM in the cerebellum, frontal and parietal lobes, sub-lobar regions and brainstem. By contrast, volume preservation was observed in the GM of the parietal lobes, temporal lobe and sub-lobar regions and in the WM of the temporal lobe and temporal regions of the limbic lobe. A lower volume of CSF was also detected in the frontal lobes. This study is the first to use the high-resolution MRI VBM method to describe a whole-brain pattern of abnormalities in young DS patients falling within such a narrow age range and it provides new information on the neuroanatomically specific regional changes that occur during development in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Down syndrome
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Voxelbased morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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