Reduced anterior internal capsule white matter integrity in primary insomnia

Kai Spiegelhalder*, Wolfram Regen, Martin Prem, Chiara Baglioni, Christoph Nissen, Bernd Feige, Susanne Schnell, Valerij G. Kiselev, Jürgen Hennig, Dieter Riemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Chronic insomnia is one of the most prevalent central nervous system diseases, however, its neurobiology is poorly understood. Up to now, nothing is known about the integrity of white matter tracts in insomnia patients. In this study, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used in a well-characterized sample of primary insomnia (PI) patients and good sleeper controls to fill this void. Voxelwise between-group comparisons of fractional anisotropy (FA) were performed in 24 PI patients (10 males; 14 females; 42.7 ± 14.5 years) and 35 healthy good sleepers (15 males; 20 females; 40.1 ± 9.1 years) with age and sex as covariates. PI patients showed reduced FA values within the right anterior internal capsule and a trend for reduced FA values in the left anterior internal capsule. The results suggest that insomnia is associated with a reduced integrity of white matter tracts in the anterior internal capsule indicating that disturbed fronto-subcortical connectivity may be a cause or consequence of the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3431-3438
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • MRI
  • Primary insomnia
  • Sleep
  • Structural connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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