Skakkebæk A1, Gravholt CH, Rasmussen PM, Bojesen A, Jensen JS, Fedder J, Laurberg P, Hertz JM, Ostergaard JR, Pedersen AD, Wallentin M.
ePublished: October 29, 2013

Brain imaging in Klinefelter syndrome (47, XXY) (KS), a genetic disorder characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome, may contribute to understanding the relationship between gene expression, brain structure, and subsequent cognitive disabilities and psychiatric disorders. We conducted the largest to date voxel-based morphometry study of 65 KS subjects and 65 controls matched for age and education and correlated these data to neuropsychological test scores. The KS patients had significantly smaller total brain volume (TBV), total gray matter volume (GMV) and total white matter volume (WMV) compared to controls, whereas no volumetric difference in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) was found. There were no differences in TBV, GMV, WMV or CSF between testosterone treated KS (T-KS) and untreated KS (U-KS) patients. Compared to controls, KS patients had significantly decreased GMV bilaterally in insula, putamen, caudate, hippocampus, amygdala, temporal pole and frontal inferior orbita. Additionally, the right parahippocampal region and cerebellar volumes were reduced in KS patients. KS patients had significantly larger volumes in right postcentral gyrus, precuneus and parietal regions. Multivariate classification analysis discriminated KS patients from controls with 96.9% (p < 0.001) accuracy. Regression analyses, however, revealed no significant association between GMV differences and cognitive and psychological factors within the KS patients and controls or the groups combined. These results show that although gene dosage effect of having and extra X-chromosome may lead to large scale alterations of brain morphometry and extended cognitive disabilities no simple correspondence links these measures.

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