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Neuroimage. 2004 Mar;21(3):1021-5.

Anatomical and functional brain imaging evidence of lenticulo-insular anomalies in Smith Magenis syndrome.

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Service de Génétique, Necker Enfants-Malades, 75015 Paris, France.


Smith Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a clinically recognizable contiguous gene syndrome ascribed to an interstitial deletion of chromosome 17p11.2. The neurobehavioral phenotype of SMS includes mental retardation, speech delay, hyperactivity, attention deficit, decreased sensitivity to pain, self-injury, aggressive behavior and sleep disturbance. Therefore, we performed anatomical and functional brain imaging studies in five SMS boys. Anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was analyzed using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM). This method can detect structural anomalies not apparent on visual inspection of the scans. Two comparison groups with similar mean age were studied: Group A with 12 healthy control children and Group B with 5 children with idiopathic mental retardation. In addition, positron emission tomography (PET) and water-labeled method were used to investigate a putative localized brain dysfunction in SMS. The control group was composed of mentally retarded children (Group B). A significant bilateral decrease of grey matter concentration was detected in the insula and lenticular nucleus in SMS children. In addition, a significant hypoperfusion was found in the same regions in SMS. These anatomo-functional evidences of bilateral insulo-lenticular anomalies in SMS are consistent with neurobehavioral symptoms of the disease. The identification of localized brain anomalies in SMS may help in understanding how this well-defined genetic entity can lead to a relatively specific severe neurobehavioral syndrome.

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