The journal of headache and pain

Grey matter volume alterations in CADASIL: a voxel-based morphometry study.

PMID 22302157


CADASIL is a hereditary disease characterized by cerebral subcortical microangiopathy leading to early onset cerebral strokes and progressive severe cognitive impairment. Until now, only few studies have investigated the extent and localization of grey matter (GM) involvement. The purpose of our study was to evaluate GM volume alterations in CADASIL patients compared to healthy subjects. We also looked for correlations between global and regional white matter (WM) lesion load and GM volume alterations. 14 genetically proved CADASIL patients and 12 healthy subjects were enrolled in our study. Brain MRI (1.5 T) was acquired in all subjects. Optimized-voxel based morphometry method was applied for the comparison of brain volumes between CADASIL patients and controls. Global and lobar WM lesion loads were calculated for each patient and used as covariate-of-interest for regression analyses with SPM-8. Compared to controls, patients showed GM volume reductions in bilateral temporal lobes (p < 0.05; FDR-corrected). Regression analysis in the patient group revealed a correlation between total WM lesion load and temporal GM atrophy (p < 0.05; uncorrected), not between temporal lesion load and GM atrophy. Temporal GM volume reduction was demonstrated in CADASIL patients compared to controls; it was related to WM lesion load involving the whole brain but not to lobar and, specifically, temporal WM lesion load. Complex interactions between sub-cortical and cortical damage should be hypothesized.