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The relationship between Central Nervous System morphometry changes and key symptoms in Crohn’s disease

Thapaliya, Gita; Eldeghaidy, Sally; Asghar, Michael; McGing, Jordan; Radford, Shellie; Francis, Susan; Moran, Gordon William


Gita Thapaliya

Jordan McGing

Shellie Radford

Clinical Associate Professor


Alterations in grey matter volume (GMV) and cortical thickness (CT) in Crohn’s disease (CD) patients has been previously documented. However, the findings are inconsistent, and not a true representation of CD burden, as only CD patients in remission have been studied thus far. We investigate alterations in brain morphometry in patients with active CD and those in remission, and study relationships between brain structure and key symptoms of fatigue, abdominal pain, and extraintestinal manifestations (EIM).Magnetic Resonance Imaging brain scans were collected in 89 participants; 34 CD participants with active disease, 13 CD participants in remission and 42 healthy controls (HCs); Voxel based morphometry (VBM) assessed GMV and white matter volume (WMV), and surface-based analysis assessed cortical thickness (CT).We show a significant reduction in global cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume in CD participants compared with HCs, as well as, a reduction in regional GMV, WMV and CT in the left precentral gyrus (motor cortex), and an increase in GMV in the frontal brain regions in CD compared with HCs. Atrophy of the supplementary motor area (SMA) was associated with greater fatigue in CD. We also show alterations in brain structure in multiple regions in CD associated with abdominal pain and extraintestinal inflammations (EIMs).These brain structural alterations likely reflect neuroplasticity to a chronic systemic inflammatory response, abdominal pain, EIMs and fatigue. These findings will aid our understanding of the cross-linking between chronic inflammation, brain structural changes and key unexplained CD symptomatology like fatigue.


Thapaliya, G., Eldeghaidy, S., Asghar, M., McGing, J., Radford, S., Francis, S., & Moran, G. W. (2022). The relationship between Central Nervous System morphometry changes and key symptoms in Crohn’s disease. Brain Imaging and Behavior,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 21, 2022
Publication Date Nov 21, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2022
Print ISSN 1931-7557
Electronic ISSN 1931-7565
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Behavioral Neuroscience; Psychiatry and Mental health; Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience; Neurology (clinical); Cognitive Neuroscience; Neurology; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and imaging
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