Basal ganglia volume in adults with Down syndrome

Elizabeth H. Aylward, Qiang Li, Reem Habbak, Andrew Warren, Margaret B. Pulsifer, Patrick E. Barta, Matthew Jerram, Godfrey Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine the effects of aging on the volume of the basal ganglia in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) and to examine the relationship between basal ganglia volumes, neuropsychological test performance, and dementia status in this population. Subjects were 32 adults with DS. Basal ganglia volumes from 22 of these subjects were compared with those of 22 cognitively-normal individuals, who were individually matched on age, sex, and race. Performance on neuropsychological tests was correlated with basal ganglia volumes for 32 individuals with DS, and basal ganglia volumes of five demented DS subjects were compared with those of 14 non- demented DS subjects. Results indicated larger putamen volumes in the DS subjects, despite significantly smaller total brain volumes. Volumes of caudate and globus pallidus did not differ between DS and control subjects. Although there were some significant correlations between basal ganglia volumes and age, neuropsychological test performance, and dementia status in the DS subjects, these associations appeared to be a reflection of neurodevelopmental or atrophic reductions in overall brain volume rather than a reflection of specific basal ganglia abnormality. Correlations between age and volumes of basal ganglia and total brain were not significantly greater in non-demented DS subjects than in control subjects. Results suggest that volume reductions of the basal ganglia are not a salient feature of aging or of the dementia associated with DS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 16 1997


  • Aging
  • Basal ganglia
  • Dementia
  • Down syndrome
  • MRI
  • Neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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