Lateral frontal cortex volume reduction in Tourette syndrome revealed by VBM

Matthias Wittfoth*, Sarah Bornmann, Thomas Peschel, Julian Grosskreutz, Alexander Glahn, Nadine Buddensiek, Hartmut Becker, Reinhard Dengler, Kirsten R. Müller-Vahl

*Corresponding author for this work
28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Structural changes have been found predominantly in the frontal cortex and in the striatum in children and adolescents with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS). The influence of comorbid symptomatology is unclear. Here we sought to address the question of gray matter abnormalities in GTS patients with co-morbid obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) in twenty-nine adult actually unmedicated GTS patients and twenty-five healthy control subjects.Results: In GTS we detected a cluster of decreased gray matter volume in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), but no regions demonstrating volume increases. By comparing subgroups of GTS with comorbid ADHD to the subgroup with comorbid OCD, we found a left-sided amygdalar volume increase.Conclusions: From our results it is suggested that the left IFG may constitute a common underlying structural correlate of GTS with co-morbid OCD/ADHD. A volume reduction in this brain region that has been previously identified as a key region in OCD and was associated with the active inhibition of attentional processes may reflect the failure to control behavior. Amygdala volume increase is discussed on the background of a linkage of this structure with ADHD symptomatology. Correlations with clinical data revealed gray matter volume changes in specific brain areas that have been described in these conditions each.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalBMC Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14.02.2012
Externally publishedYes

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: Center for Neuromuscular Diseases


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