Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (MyD) is a common inherited neuromuscular disorder. In addition to neuromuscular symptoms, many MyD patients show central nervous system neuropathology. This study evaluated whether MyD patients display diffusion tensor (DT) abnormalities associated with regional cortical atrophy and clinical features. Three-dimensional T1-weighted and DT magnetic resonance images of the brain were obtained in 11 MyD patients and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) values were calculated in corpus callosum subregions with DT imaging (DTI) along with volumetric changes, and correlations with clinical features were examined. Differences between MyD patients and healthy subjects were analyzed statistically. Significantly lower FA and higher MD values were found in the genu, rostral body, anterior midbody, posterior midbody and splenium in MyD patients than in control subjects (p < 0.05, corrected; lower FA in the splenium was at a trend level). These corpus callosum subregions were the areas connected to cortical areas where significantly lower volumes were found in MyD patients. No significant decrease in volumes was noted in the parietal cortex, where connecting fibers pass through the isthmus in which DTI abnormalities were not detected in MyD patients. Significant negative correlations to volumes of frontal areas were noted, particularly bilateral motor areas, with cytosine thymine guanidine (CTG) triplet expansion. DTI results in corpus callosum may reflect morphological changes in the connecting cortical areas of MyD patients. © 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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