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Brain anatomy and ageing in non-demented adults with Down's syndrome: an in vivo MRI study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

F. Beacher, E. Daly, A. Simmons, V. Prasher, R. Morris, C. Robinson, S. Lovestone, K. Murphy, D. G. M. Murphy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611 - 619
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

King's Authors


Background. People with Down's syndrome (DS) are at high risk for developing dementia in middle age. The biological basis for this is unknown. It has been proposed that non-demented adults with DS may undergo accelerated brain ageing. Method. We used volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and manual tracing to compare brain anatomy and ageing in 39 non-demented adults with DS and 42 healthy controls. Results. Individuals with DS had significant differences in brain anatomy. Furthermore, individuals with DS had a significantly greater age-related reduction in volume of frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, and a significantly greater age-related increase in volume of peripheral cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Conclusions. Non-demented adults with DS have differences in brain anatomy and 'accelerated' ageing of some brain regions. This may increase their risk for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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