Regional grey matter structure differences between transsexuals and healthy controls - A voxel based morphometry study

Lajos Simon, Lajos R. Kozák, Viktória Simon, P. Czobor, Zsolt Unoka, Ádám Szabó, Gábor Csukly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gender identity disorder (GID) refers to transsexual individuals who feel that their assigned biological gender is incongruent with their gender identity and this cannot be explained by any physical intersex condition. There is growing scientific interest in the last decades in studying the neuroanatomy and brain functions of transsexual individuals to better understand both the neuroanatomical features of transsexualism and the background of gender identity. So far, results are inconclusive but in general, transsexualism has been associated with a distinct neuroanatomical pattern. Studies mainly focused on male to female (MTF) transsexuals and there is scarcity of data acquired on female to male (FTM) transsexuals. Thus, our aim was to analyze structural MRI data with voxel based morphometry (VBM) obtained from both FTM and MTF transsexuals (n = 17) and compare them to the data of 18 age matched healthy control subjects (both males and females). We found differences in the regional grey matter (GM) structure of transsexual compared with control subjects, independent from their biological gender, in the cerebellum, the left angular gyrus and in the left inferior parietal lobule. Additionally, our findings showed that in several brain areas, regarding their GM volume, transsexual subjects did not differ significantly from controls sharing their gender identity but were different from those sharing their biological gender (areas in the left and right precentral gyri, the left postcentral gyrus, the left posterior cingulate, precuneus and calcarinus, the right cuneus, the right fusiform, lingual, middle and inferior occipital, and inferior temporal gyri). These results support the notion that structural brain differences exist between transsexual and healthy control subjects and that majority of these structural differences are dependent on the biological gender.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere83947
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 2013

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morphometry
Brain
gender
Parietal Lobe
Transsexualism
brain
Magnetic resonance imaging
Healthy Volunteers
Neuroanatomy
Disorders of Sex Development
Occipital Lobe
Somatosensory Cortex
Gray Matter
Gyrus Cinguli
Frontal Lobe
cerebellum
Temporal Lobe
tongue
Tongue
Cerebellum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Regional grey matter structure differences between transsexuals and healthy controls - A voxel based morphometry study. / Simon, Lajos; Kozák, Lajos R.; Simon, Viktória; Czobor, P.; Unoka, Zsolt; Szabó, Ádám; Csukly, Gábor.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 12, e83947, 31.12.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Simon, Lajos ; Kozák, Lajos R. ; Simon, Viktória ; Czobor, P. ; Unoka, Zsolt ; Szabó, Ádám ; Csukly, Gábor. / Regional grey matter structure differences between transsexuals and healthy controls - A voxel based morphometry study. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 12.
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