Morphometry of corpus callosum in Williams syndrome: shape as an index of neural development

Sampaio A, Bouix S, Sousa N, Vasconcelos C, Férnandez M, Shenton ME, Gonçalves ÓF

Brain Struct Funct 2013 May;218(3):711-20

PMID: 22648762


Brain abnormalities in Williams syndrome (WS) have been consistently reported, despite few studies have devoted attention to connectivity between different brain regions in WS. In this study, we evaluated corpus callosum (CC) morphometry: bending angle, length, thickness and curvature of CC using a new shape analysis method in a group of 17 individuals with WS matched with a typically developing group. We used this multimethod approach because we hypothesized that neurodevelopmental abnormalities might result in both volume changes and structure deformation. Overall, we found reduced absolute CC cross-sectional area and volume in WS (mean CC and subsections). In parallel, we observed group differences regarding CC shape and thickness. Specifically, CC of WS is morphologically different, characterized by a larger bending angle and being more curved in the posterior part. Moreover, although CC in WS is shorter, a larger relative thickness of CC was found in all callosal sections. Finally, groups differed regarding the association between CC measures, age, white matter volume and cognitive performance. In conclusions, abnormal patterns of CC morphology and shape may be implicated in WS cognitive and behavioural phenotype.