Lack of association between shape and volume of subcortical brain structures and restless legs syndrome

Marco Hermesdorf, Benedikt Sundermann, Rajesh Rawal, András Szentkirályi, Udo Dannlowski, Klaus Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Previous studies on patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS) yielded inconclusive results in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based analyses of alterations of subcortical structures in the brain. The aim of this study was to compare volumes as well as shapes of subcortical structures and the hippocampus between RLS cases and controls. Additionally, the associations between the genetic risks for RLS and subcortical volumes were investigated. Methods: We compared volumetric as well as shape differences assessed by 3 T MRI in the caudate nucleus, hippocampus, globus pallidus, putamen, and thalamus in 39 RLS cases versus 117 controls, nested within a population-based sample. In a subsample, we explored associations between known genetic risk markers for RLS and the volumes of the subcortical structures and the hippocampus. Results: No significant differences between RLS cases and controls in subcortical and hippocampal shapes and volumes were observed. Furthermore, the genetic risk for RLS was unrelated to any alterations of subcortical and hippocampal gray matter volume. Interpretation: We conclude that neither RLS nor the genetic risk for the disease give rise to changes in hippocampal and subcortical shapes and gray matter volumes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number355
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - May 18 2018


  • Genetic risk
  • Gray matter volume
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Risk alleles
  • Subcortical brain structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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