Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 285
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825528

Age-related cortical gray matter reductions in non-demented adults with Down’s syndrome determined by magnetic resonance imaging with optimized voxel-based morphometry

SJ Teipel 1, GE Alexander 2, MB Schapiro 3, HJ Möller 1, SI Rapoport 4, H Hampel 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
  • 3Divivion of Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  • 4Section on Brain Physiology and Metabolism, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Aging in Down’s syndrome (DS) is accompanied by amyloid and neurofibrillary changes that resemble essential pathological features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigated the effect of age on regional cortical gray matter volume in 27 non-demented adult DS subjects using MRI and voxel based morphometry. Regional gray matter volume was decreased with advancing age in bilateral parietal cortex, predominantly precuneus and inferior parietal lobule, in bilateral frontal cortex with left side predominance, predominantly middle frontal gyrus, in left occipital cortex, predominantly lingual cortex, in right precentral and left postcentral gyrus, in left transverse temporal gyrus, and in right parahippocampal gyrus. The volume reductions were independent from gender, intracranial volume and general cognitive function. Gray matter volume was relatively preserved in subcortical nuclei, periventricular regions, bilateral orbitofrontal and anterior temporal cortex, and in anterior cingulate gyrus. Our findings suggest AD type neocortical neuronal degeneration in the predementia stage of DS.


Teipel et al. Relation of corpus callosum and hippocampus size to age in nondemented adults with Down’s syndrome. Am. J. Psychiatry 2003, in press.