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J Clin Neurosci. 2016 Nov;33:89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2016.01.040. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

Brain morphometry in blind and sighted subjects.

Author information

1
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, The Alfred & Monash University Central Clinical School, 607 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3181, Australia. Electronic address: jerome.maller@monash.edu.
2
Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, The Alfred & Monash University Central Clinical School, 607 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3181, Australia.
3
Howard Florey Institute, University of Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
4
Monash Vision Group, Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
5
Monash Biomedical Imaging and Monash e-Research, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
6
National Trauma Research Institute, The Alfred hospital and Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
7
Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia; School of Psychology & Psychiatry, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
8
Division of Clinical Sciences and Department of Surgery, Central Clinical School, Monash University, VIC, Australia; Department of Neurosurgery, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Monash Institute of Medical Engineering, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated structural brain alterations in blind subjects, but most have focused on primary open angle glaucoma or retinopathy of prematurity, used low-field scanners, a limited number of receive channels, or have presented uncorrected results. We recruited 10 blind and 10 age and sex-matched controls to undergo high-resolution MRI using a 3T scanner and a 32-channel receive coil. We evaluated whole-brain morphological differences between the groups as well as manual segmentation of regional hippocampal volumes. There were no hippocampal volume differences between the groups. Whole-brain morphometry showed white matter volume differences between blind and sighted groups including localised larger regions in the visual cortex (occipital gyral volume and thickness) among those with blindness early in life compared to those with blindness later in life. Hence, in our patients, blindness resulted in brain volumetric differences that depend upon duration of blindness.

KEYWORDS:

Blindness; Magnetic resonance imaging; Morphometry; Visual cortex

PMID:
27424130
DOI:
10.1016/j.jocn.2016.01.040
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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