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Neuroradiology

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 401–411 | Cite as

Age effects on cortical thickness in young Down’s syndrome subjects: a cross-sectional gender study

  • Andrea Romano
  • Marta Moraschi
  • Riccardo Cornia
  • Alessandro Bozzao
  • Olga Gagliardo
  • Laura Chiacchiararelli
  • Cristina Iani
  • Giacomo Stella
  • Giorgio Albertini
  • Alberto Pierallini
Functional Neuroradiology

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of this study was to determine differences in the characteristic pattern of age-related cortical thinning in men and women with Down’s syndrome (DS) by means of MRI and automatic cortical thickness measurements and a cross-sectional design, in a large cohort of young subjects.

Methods

Eighty-four subjects with DS, 30 females (11–35 years, mean age ± SD = 22.8 ± 5.9) and 54 males (11–35 years, mean age ± SD = 21.5 ± 6.5), were examined using a 1.5-T scanner. MRI-based quantification of cortical thickness was performed using FreeSurfer software package. For all subjects participating in the study, the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between age and mean cortical thickness values has been evaluated.

Results

A significant negative correlation between cortical thickness and age was found in female DS subjects, predominantly in frontal and parietal lobes, bilaterally. In male DS subjects, a significant negative correlation between cortical thickness and age was found in the right fronto-temporal lobes and cingulate regions. Whole brain mean cortical thickness values were significantly negative correlated with age only in female DS subjects.

Conclusions

Females with Down’s syndrome showed a strong correlation between cortical thickness and age, already in early age. We suggest that the cognitive impairment due to hormonal deficit in the postmenopausal period could be emphasized by the early structural decline of gray matter in female DS subjects.

Keywords

Gender Down’s syndrome MRI Free-surfer Aging 

Notes

Ethical standards and patient consent

We declare that all human and animal studies have been approved by our Institutional Ethics Committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. We declare that all patients gave informed consent prior to inclusion in this study.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Romano
    • 1
  • Marta Moraschi
    • 1
  • Riccardo Cornia
    • 2
  • Alessandro Bozzao
    • 3
  • Olga Gagliardo
    • 3
  • Laura Chiacchiararelli
    • 4
  • Cristina Iani
    • 5
  • Giacomo Stella
    • 2
  • Giorgio Albertini
    • 6
  • Alberto Pierallini
    • 7
  1. 1.San Raffaele Foundation Rome, Rehabilitation Facility Ceglie MessapicaMerit Project RBNE08E8CZRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Education and Human SciencesUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaEmilia-RomagnaItaly
  3. 3.NESMOS, Department of Neuroradiology, S. Andrea HospitalUniversity SapienzaRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Medical Physics, S. Andrea HospitalUniversity SapienzaRomeItaly
  5. 5.Department of Communication and EconomyUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaEmilia-RomagnaItaly
  6. 6.Department of PaediatricsIRCSS San Raffaele PisanaRomeItaly
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyIRCSS San Raffaele PisanaRomeItaly

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