Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Human Brain Development: Ages 4–18

National Institute of Mental Health, Child Psychiatry Branch, Bethesda, MD 20892-1600, USA.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 07/1996; 6(4):551-60. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/6.4.551
Source: PubMed


Brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) of 104 healthy children and adolescents, age 4-18, showed significant effects of age and gender on brain morphometry. Males had larger cerebral (9%) and cerebellar (8%) volumes (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.008, respectively), which remained significant even after correction for height and weight. After adjusting for cerebral size, the putamen and globus pallidus remained larger in males, while relative caudate size was larger in females. Neither cerebral nor cerebellar volume changed significantly across this age range. Lateral ventricular volume increased significantly in males (trend for females), with males showing an increase in slope after age 11. In males only, caudate and putamen decrease with age (P = 0.007 and 0.05, respectively). The left lateral ventricles and putamen were significantly greater than the right (P = 0.01 and 0.001, respectively). In contrast, the cerebral hemispheres and caudate showed a highly consistent right-greater-than-left asymmetry (P < 0.0001 for both). All volumes demonstrated a high degree of variability. These findings highlight gender-specific maturational changes of the developing brain and the need for large gender-matched samples in pediatric neuropsychiatric studies.

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    • "High-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data has been used to perform in-vivo volumetric and morphometric analysis of brain structures in pediatric cohorts. Volumetric studies have described growth curves in normal brain development (Sowell et al. 2002; Lenroot and Giedd 2006; Giedd et al. 1996) and have identified abnormal structure sizes due to diseases or disorders (Fleisher et al. 2008; Ahn et al. 2007). Morphometric studies have been able to identify localized structural changes using shape analysis (Thompson et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Volumetric and morphometric neuroimaging studies of the basal ganglia and thalamus in pediatric populations have utilized existing automated segmentation tools including FIRST (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain's Integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool) and FreeSurfer. These segmentation packages, however, are mostly based on adult training data. Given that there are marked differences between the pediatric and adult brain, it is likely an age-specific segmentation technique will produce more accurate segmentation results. In this study, we describe a new automated segmentation technique for analysis of 7-year-old basal ganglia and thalamus, called Pediatric Subcortical Segmentation Technique (PSST). PSST consists of a probabilistic 7-year-old subcortical gray matter atlas (accumbens, caudate, pallidum, putamen and thalamus) combined with a customized segmentation pipeline using existing tools: ANTs (Advanced Normalization Tools) and SPM (Statistical Parametric Mapping). The segmentation accuracy of PSST in 7-year-old data was compared against FIRST and FreeSurfer, relative to manual segmentation as the ground truth, utilizing spatial overlap (Dice's coefficient), volume correlation (intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC) and limits of agreement (Bland-Altman plots). PSST achieved spatial overlap scores ≥90 % and ICC scores ≥0.77 when compared with manual segmentation, for all structures except the accumbens. Compared with FIRST and FreeSurfer, PSST showed higher spatial overlap (p FDR < 0.05) and ICC scores, with less volumetric bias according to Bland-Altman plots. PSST is a customized segmentation pipeline with an age-specific atlas that accurately segments typical and atypical basal ganglia and thalami at age 7 years, and has the potential to be applied to other pediatric datasets.
    Neuroinformatics 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12021-015-9279-0 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Further , there are studies to support larger amygdala ( Caviness et al . , 1996 ; Goldstein et al . , 2001 ; Fjell et al . , 2009 ; Herting et al . , 2014 ) and cerebellar cortex ( Giedd et al . , 1996 ; Raz et al . , 2001 ; Carne et al . , 2006 ; Fjell et al . , 2009 ) in men . The ICV - matched subsample was obtained by matching subjects solely"
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    ABSTRACT: To date, there is no consensus whether sexual dimorphism in the size of neuroanatomical structures exists, or if such differences are caused by choice of intracranial volume (ICV) correction method. When investigating volume differences in neuroanatomical structures, corrections for variation in ICV are used. Commonly applied methods are the ICV-proportions, ICV-residuals and ICV as a covariate of no interest, ANCOVA. However, these different methods give contradictory results with regard to presence of sex differences. Our aims were to investigate presence of sexual dimorphism in 18 neuroanatomical volumes unrelated to ICV-differences by using a large ICV-matched subsample of 304 men and women from the HUNT-MRI general population study, and further to demonstrate in the entire sample of 966 healthy subjects, which of the ICV-correction methods gave results similar to the ICV-matched subsample. In addition, sex-specific subsamples were created to investigate whether differences were an effect of head size or sex. Most sex differences were related to volume scaling with ICV, independent of sex. Sex differences were detected in a few structures; amygdala, cerebellar cortex, and 3rd ventricle were larger in men, but the effect sizes were small. The residuals and ANCOVA methods were most effective at removing the effects of ICV. The proportions method suffered from systematic errors due to lack of proportionality between ICV and neuroanatomical volumes, leading to systematic mis-assignment of structures as either larger or smaller than their actual size. Adding additional sexual dimorphic covariates to the ANCOVA gave opposite results of those obtained in the ICV-matched subsample or with the residuals method. The findings in the current study explain some of the considerable variation in the literature on sexual dimorphisms in neuroanatomical volumes. In conclusion, sex plays a minor role for neuroanatomical volume differences; most differences are related to ICV.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 07/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00238 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    • "Following all automated processing, parcellation, and completed quality control procedures, Freesurfer was again utilized to extract absolute segmented volumes of subcortical regions that included the amygdala, thalamus, hippocampus, pallidum, caudate, putamen and cerebellum, in addition to estimated intracranial volume (ICV), and total gray matter and total white matter volumes (Fischl et al., 2002). In order to control for individual variability in brain volume (Giedd et al., 1996), subcortical volumes were analyzed as ratios to ICV. All subcortical and total estimated volumes were imported from Freesurfer to SPSS for analysis. "
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of marijuana (MJ) use among youth and its legalization for medical or recreational use has intensified public health endeavors of understanding MJ effects on brain structure and function. Studies indicate that MJ use is related to impaired cognitive performance, and altered functional brain activation and chemistry in adolescents and adults, but MJ effects on brain morphology in emerging adults are less understood. Fifteen MJ users (age 21.8±3.6, 2 females) and 15 non-user (NU) participants (age 22.3±3.5, 2 females) were included, demographically matched on age, education and alcohol use. High-resolution structural MR images were acquired at 3Tesla. Cortical thickness (CT) and volumetric analyses were performed using Freesurfer. A priori regions of interest (ROI) included orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices, amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus. Whole brain CT analysis did not result in significant group differences in a priori ROIs but revealed MJ users had significantly less CT (i.e., thinness) in right fusiform gyrus (rFG) compared to NU (p<0.05). Thalamic volume was significantly smaller in MJ users compared to NU (right, p=0.05; left, p=0.01) and associated with greater non-planning (p<0.01) and overall impulsivity (p=0.04). There were no other group differences. RFG cortical thinness and smaller thalamic volume in emerging adults is associated with MJ abuse. Furthermore, smaller thalamic volume associated with greater impulsivity contributes to growing evidence that the thalamus is neurobiologically perturbed by MJ use. Collectively, altered thalamic and rFG structural integrity may interfere with their known roles in regulating visuoperceptual and object information processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 06/2015; in press. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.06.016 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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