White matter microstructure and cognitive function in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Rees, D. Aled, Udiawar, Maneesh, Berlot, Rok, Jones, Derek K. and O'Sullivan, Michael J. (2016) White matter microstructure and cognitive function in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101 1: 314-323. doi:10.1210/jc.2015-2318

Author Rees, D. Aled
Udiawar, Maneesh
Berlot, Rok
Jones, Derek K.
O'Sullivan, Michael J.
Title White matter microstructure and cognitive function in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Journal name Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1945-7197
Publication date 2016-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1210/jc.2015-2318
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 101
Issue 1
Start page 314
End page 323
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cary, NC United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder characterized by insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism, which leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in later life. Androgens and insulin signaling affect brain function but little is known about brain structure and function in younger adults with PCOS.

To establish whether young women with PCOS display altered white matter microstructure and cognitive function.
Patients, interventions, and main outcome measures:

Eighteen individuals with PCOS (age, 31 ± 6 y; body mass index [BMI] 30 ± 6 kg/m2) and 18 control subjects (age, 31 ± 7 y; BMI, 29 ± 6 kg/m2), matched for age, IQ, and BMI, underwent anthropometric and metabolic evaluation, diffusion tensor MRI, a technique especially sensitive to brain white matter structure, and cognitive assessment. Cognitive scores and white matter diffusion metrics were compared between groups. White matter microstructure was evaluated across the whole white matter skeleton using tract-based spatial statistics. Associations with metabolic indices were also evaluated.

PCOS was associated with a widespread reduction in axial diffusivity (diffusion along the main axis of white matter fibers) and increased tissue volume fraction (the proportion of volume filled by white or grey matter rather than cerebrospinal fluid) in the corpus callosum. Cognitive performance was reduced compared with controls (first principal component, t = 2.9, P = .007), reflecting subtle decrements across a broad range of cognitive tests, despite similar education and premorbid intelligence. In PCOS, there was a reversal of the relationship seen in controls between brain microstructure and both androgens and insulin resistance.

White matter microstructure is altered, and cognitive performance is compromised, in young adults with PCOS. These alterations in brain structure and function are independent of age, education and BMI. If reversible, these changes represent a potential target for treatment.
Keyword Androgens
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Body mass index procedure
Insulin resistance
Mental processes
White matter
Cognitive ability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Thu, 08 Jun 2017, 13:39:03 EST by Kirstie Asmussen on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute