, Volume 60, Issue 12, pp 1335–1341 | Cite as

White matter involvement in young non-demented Down’s syndrome subjects: a tract-based spatial statistic analysis

  • Andrea Romano
  • Marta Moraschi
  • Riccardo Cornia
  • Alessandro Bozzao
  • Maria Camilla Rossi-Espagnet
  • Federico Giove
  • Giorgio Albertini
  • Alberto Pierallini
Functional Neuroradiology



Cognitive decline in Down syndrome generally shows neurodegenerative aspects similar to what is observed in Alzheimer’s disease. Few studies reported information on white matter integrity. The aim of this study was to evaluate white matter alterations in a cohort of young Down subjects, without dementia, by means of DTI technique, compared to a normal control group.


The study group consisted of 17 right-handed subjects with DS and many control subjects. All individuals participating in this study were examined by MR exam including DTI acquisition (32 non-coplanar directions); image processing and analysis were performed using FMRIB Software Library (FSL version 4.1.9, software package. Finally, the diffusion tensor was estimated voxel by voxel and the FA map derived from the tensor. A two-sample t test was performed to assess differences between DS and control subjects.


The FA is decreased in DS subjects, compared to control subjects, in the region of the anterior thalamic radiation, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculum, the inferior longitudinal fasciculum, and the cortico-spinal tract, bilaterally.


The early white matter damage visible in our DS subjects could have great impact in the therapeutic management, in particular in better adapting the timing of therapies to counteract the toxic effect of the deposition of amyloid that leads to oxidative stress.


Down syndrome Young White matter TBSS Dementia 


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Romano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marta Moraschi
    • 3
  • Riccardo Cornia
    • 4
  • Alessandro Bozzao
    • 2
  • Maria Camilla Rossi-Espagnet
    • 2
    • 5
  • Federico Giove
    • 3
    • 6
  • Giorgio Albertini
    • 7
  • Alberto Pierallini
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Odontostomatological and Maxillo-Facial Sciences, Umberto I HospitalUniversity SapienzaRomeItaly
  2. 2.NESMOS, Department of Neuroradiology, S. Andrea HospitalUniversity SapienzaRomeItaly
  3. 3.Centro Fermi-Museo Storico Della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico FermiRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, Neurological InstituteUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  5. 5.Neuroradiology Unit, Imaging DepartmentBambino Gesù Children’s HospitalRomeItaly
  6. 6.Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCSSRomeItaly
  7. 7.Department of PaediatricsIRCSS San Raffaele PisanaRomeItaly
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyIRCSS San Raffaele PisanaRomeItaly

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