The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (velocardiofacial/DiGeorge syndrome) is a neurogenetic condition associated with visuospatial deficits, as well as elevated rates of attentional disturbance, mood disorder, and psychosis. Previously, we detected pronounced cortical thinning in superior parietal and right parieto-occipital cortices in patients with this syndrome, regions critical for visuospatial processing. Here we applied cortical pattern-matching algorithms to structural magnetic resonance images obtained from 21 children with confirmed 22q11.2 deletions (ages 8-17) and 13 demographically matched comparison subjects, in order to map cortical thickness across the medial hemispheric surfaces. In addition, cortical models were remeshed in frequency space to compute their surface complexity. Cortical maps revealed a pattern of localized thinning in the ventromedial occipital-temporal cortex, critical for visuospatial representation, and the anterior cingulate, a key area for attentional control. However, children with 22q11.2DS showed significantly increased gyral complexity bilaterally in occipital cortex. Regional gray matter volumes, particularly in medial frontal cortex, were strongly correlated with both verbal and nonverbal cognitive functions. These findings suggest that aberrant parieto-occipital brain development, as evidenced by both increased complexity and cortical thinning in these regions, may be a neural substrate for the deficits in visuospatial and numerical understanding characteristic of this syndrome.
- Brain mapping
- Velocardiofacial syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience