Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrates incomplete myelination in 18q- syndrome: Evidence for myelin basic protein haploinsufficiency

C. T. Gay, L. J. Hardies, R. A. Rauch, J. L. Lancaster, R. Plaetke, B. R. DuPont, J. D. Cody, J. E. Cornell, R. C. Herndon, P. D. Ghidoni, J. M. Schiff, C. I. Kaye, R. J. Leach, P. T. Fox

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI relaxometry were used to investigate disturbed brain myelination in 18q- syndrome, a disorder characterized by mental retardation, dysmorphic features, and growth failure. T1-weighted and dual spin-echo T2-weighted MR images were obtained, and T1 and T2 parametric image maps were created for 20 patients and 12 controls. MRI demonstrated abnormal brain white matter in all patients. White matter T1 and T2 relaxation times were significantly prolonged in patients compared to controls at all ages studied, suggesting incomplete myelination. Chromosome analysis using fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques showed that all patients with abnormal MRI scans and prolonged white matter T1 and T2 relaxation times were missing one copy of the myelin basic protein (MBP) gene. The one patient with normal-appearing white matter and normal white matter T1 and T2 relaxation times possessed two copies of the MBP gene. MRI and molecular genetic data suggest that incomplete cerebral myelination in 18q- is associated with haploinsufficiency of the gene for MBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997



  • 18q- syndrome
  • Delayed myelination
  • Myelin basic protein
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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