Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Acta Neuropsychiatrica


Cambridge University Press


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Walterfang, M., Takahashi, T., Di Biase, M. A., Cropley, V. L., Sasabayashi, D., Suzuki, M., . . . Pantelis, C. (2023). Midline brain structures in adult niemann-pick type c disease: A cross-sectional study. Acta Neuropsychiatrica. Advance online publication.


Objective: A range of neuropathological changes occur in the brains of individuals with adult Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC), a recessive disorder of cholesterol trafficking that results in accumulation of cholesterol and gangliosides in lysosomes, particularly in neurons. One of the most significant regions of grey matter loss occurs in the thalami, which abut the midline. What is not known is whether these are neurodevelopmental in origin well prior to symptomatic onset. We aimed to examine other markers of midline developmental anomalies in adults with NPC. Method: We examined the size of adhesio interthalamica (AI) and cavum septum pellucidum (CSP) (if present) in nine individuals diagnosed with NPC and nine healthy comparison subjects, matched for age and gender, using a 3T magnetic resonance volumetric sequence and measured the length of the AI and CSP in mm. Results: We found that 5/9 NPC patients and 0/9 controls had a missing AI. AI length was significantly shorter in the patient group. No subject in other group had a large CSP, and CSP length did not differ. Duration of illness showed a trend to a negative correlation with AI length in patients. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that adult NPC patients show some markers of early neurodevelopmental disturbance, matching findings seen in psychotic disorders. The differences in AI, but not CSP, suggest neurodevelopmental change may occur early in gestation rather than post-partum. The relationship with duration of illness suggests that there may be atrophy over time in these structures, consistent with prior analyses of grey matter regions in NPC.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.