Thalamic reductions in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

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Children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q) suffer from physical and behavioral dysfunctions, including neuroanatomical anomalies, visuo-spatial processing deficits, and increased risk for psychopathology. Reduced total brain volume, parietal lobe volume, and cerebellar volumes, enlarged ventricles, and increased basal ganglia volumes have been reported. Since previous literature has related the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus to visuo-spatial processing, we compared the thalamic volume in children with 22q to typically developing controls. Children with 22q showed a significant reduction of the thalamus compared with normally developing children, specifically in the posterior portion of the thalamus, including the pulvinar nucleus. These results provide the first evidence for a potential relationship between posterior thalamic reductions and the characteristic visuo-spatial deficits demonstrated in this group.

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