Decreased gray matter volume and increased white matter volume in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration: a voxel-based morphometry study.
Objective: To measure white and gray matter volume (WMV, GMV) in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Material: Eighteen patients (9 men, 9 women) with nAMD and 18 (9 men, 9 women) healthy controls (HCs) aligned were recruited. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and VBM of three-dimensional T1 brain images were analyzed. And we also apply t-tests to look for GMV and WMV differences between groups. Correlation analysis was utilized to probe the connection between observational GMV and WMV values of diverse brain areas and the severity of HADS (hospital anxiety and depression scale). Also, distinctions between nAMD and HCs in GMV can be presented with the help of a ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve.
Results: Compared with HCs, GMV values were significantly lower in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration in the right inferior frontal gyrus, temporal pole of left superior temporal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left anterior cingulate and para cingulate gyrus. While WMV was slightly increased in these areas. HADS (hospital anxiety and depression scale) scores portrayed a non-linear correlation with the GMV value of the right inferior frontal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left anterior cingulate and paracingulate gyrus of the nAMD group (r=-0.6629, P=0.0027)(r=-0.9451, P<0.0001)(r=-0.6183, P=0.0062). Moreover, the ROC curve analysis of the mean VBM values for altered brain regions indicated high diagnostic accuracy.
Conclusion: These results indicated that patients with nAMD have abnormal GMV and WMV and formed a basis for future research on pathological mechanisms in this disease. Moreover, decreased gray matter volume in particular brain regions might be associated with choroidal neovascularization and abnormal HADS score. It might help to explain the pathological mechanism of anxiety and depression in patients with nAMD.