Article

The neuroanatomy of genetic subtype differences in Prader-Willi syndrome

Department of Neurology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, USA.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Impact Factor: 3.27). 03/2012; 159B(2):243-53. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite behavioral differences between genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), no studies have been published characterizing brain structure in these subgroups. Our goal was to examine differences in the brain structure phenotype of common subtypes of PWS [chromosome 15q deletions and maternal uniparental disomy 15 (UPD)]. Fifteen individuals with PWS due to a typical deletion [(DEL) type I; n = 5, type II; n = 10], eight with PWS due to UPD, and 25 age-matched healthy-weight individuals (HWC) participated in structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. A custom voxel-based morphometry processing stream was used to examine regional differences in gray and white matter volume (WMV) between groups, covarying for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Overall, compared to HWC, PWS individuals had lower gray matter volumes (GMV) that encompassed the prefrontal, orbitofrontal and temporal cortices, hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus, and lower WMVs in the brain stem, cerebellum, medial temporal, and frontal cortex. Compared to UPD, the DEL subtypes had lower GMV primarily in the prefrontal and temporal cortices, and lower white matter in the parietal cortex. The UPD subtype had more extensive lower gray and WMVs in the orbitofrontal and limbic cortices compared to HWC. These preliminary findings are the first structural neuroimaging findings to support potentially separate neural mechanisms mediating the behavioral differences seen in these genetic subtypes.

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