Quantitative tract-based white matter development from birth to age 2years

Department of Psychiatry, 229 Medical School Wing B, University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 03/2012; 61(3):542-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.03.057
Source: PubMed


Few large-scale studies have been done to characterize the normal human brain white matter growth in the first years of life. We investigated white matter maturation patterns in major fiber pathways in a large cohort of healthy young children from birth to age two using diffusion parameters fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (RD). Ten fiber pathways, including commissural, association and projection tracts, were examined with tract-based analysis, providing more detailed and continuous spatial developmental patterns compared to conventional ROI based methods. All DTI data sets were transformed to a population specific atlas with a group-wise longitudinal large deformation diffeomorphic registration approach. Diffusion measurements were analyzed along the major fiber tracts obtained in the atlas space. All fiber bundles show increasing FA values and decreasing radial and axial diffusivities during development in the first 2years of life. The changing rates of the diffusion indices are faster in the first year than the second year for all tracts. RD and FA show larger percentage changes in the first and second years than AD. The gender effects on the diffusion measures are small. Along different spatial locations of fiber tracts, maturation does not always follow the same speed. Temporal and spatial diffusion changes near cortical regions are in general smaller than changes in central regions. Overall developmental patterns revealed in our study confirm the general rules of white matter maturation. This work shows a promising framework to study and analyze white matter maturation in a tract-based fashion. Compared to most previous studies that are ROI-based, our approach has the potential to discover localized development patterns associated with fiber tracts of interest.

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    • "They also demonstrated different trajectories of gray and white matter development . Numerous studies have since been published based on an expansion of this cohort, which have characterized parameters such as local gray matter growth (Gilmore et al. 2012), fiber tract maturation (Geng et al. 2012) and cortical gyrification (Li et al. 2014a, b). As important as these studies are, the intervals between scans were quite large and only 60 % of the children had scans at all three time points. "
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    ABSTRACT: We have longitudinally assessed normative brain growth patterns in naturalistically reared Macaca mulatta monkeys. Postnatal to early adulthood brain development in two cohorts of rhesus monkeys was analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging. Cohort A consisted of 24 rhesus monkeys (12 male, 12 female) and cohort B of 21 monkeys (11 male, 10 female). All subjects were scanned at 1, 4, 8, 13, 26, 39, and 52 weeks; cohort A had additional scans at 156 weeks (3 years) and 260 weeks (5 years). Age-specific segmentation templates were developed for automated volumetric analyses of the T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans. Trajectories of total brain size as well as cerebral and subcortical subdivisions were evaluated over this period. Total brain volume was about 64 % of adult estimates in the 1-week-old monkey. Brain volume of the male subjects was always, on average, larger than the female subjects. While brain volume generally increased between any two imaging time points, there was a transient plateau of brain growth between 26 and 39 weeks in both cohorts of monkeys. The trajectory of enlargement differed across cortical regions with the occipital cortex demonstrating the most idiosyncratic pattern of maturation and the frontal and temporal lobes showing the greatest and most protracted growth. A variety of allometric measurements were also acquired and body weight gain was most closely associated with the rate of brain growth. These findings provide a valuable baseline for the effects of fetal and early postnatal manipulations on the pattern of abnormal brain growth related to neurodevelopmental disorders.
    Brain Structure and Function 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00429-015-1076-x · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Previous studies indicated that FA has the ability to reflect the complicated information of WM development including water content, axonal growth and myelination [37]–[39]. In this study we showed that R2* values in the deep WM increased with PMA and FA, indicating that R2* could reflect WM maturation in infants. "
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    ABSTRACT: Iron deposition and white matter (WM) maturation are very important for brain development in infants. It has been reported that the R2* and phase values originating from the gradient-echo sequence could both reflect the iron and myelination. The aim of this study was to investigate age-related changes of R2* and phase value, and compare their performances for monitoring iron deposition and WM maturation in infant brains. 56 infants were examined by enhanced T2 star weighted angiography (ESWAN) and diffusion tensor imaging in the 1.5T MRI system. The R2* and phase values were measured from the deep gray nuclei and WM. Fractional anisotropy (FA) values were measured only in the WM regions. Correlation analyses were performed to explore the relation among the two parameters (R2* and phase values) and postmenstrual age (PMA), previously published iron concentrations as well as FA values. We found significantly positive correlations between the R2* values and PMA in both of the gray nuclei and WM. Moreover, R2* values had a positive correlation with the iron reference concentrations in the deep gray nuclei and the FA in the WM. However, phase values only had the positive correlation with PMA and FA in the internal capsule, and no significant correlation with PMA and iron content in the deep gray nuclei. Compared with the phase values, R2* may be a preferable method to estimate the iron deposition and WM maturation in infant brains.
    PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89888. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089888 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "dMRI imaging extends the capabilities of conventional MRI methods by measuring the diffusion properties of the tissue. Several investigators have proposed dMRI approaches to depict WM maturation (Basser and Pierpaoli, 1998; Shrager and Basser, 1998; Barkovich, 2000; Geng et al., 2012), and researchers (Zhang et al., 2002, 2005) have shown that measurements extracted from dMRI, such as Fractional Anisotropy (FA) and Mean Diffusivity (MD), are more stable than absolute MRI intensity measures. As a result, extensive research efforts have utilized dMRI in both normal subjects and patients in an attempt to yield new insights into the microstructural organization of WM that are not available with conventional MRI (Rose et al., 2000; Ciccarelli et al., 2001; McKinstry et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade, diffusion MRI (dMRI) studies of the human and animal brain have been used to investigate a multitude of pathologies and drug-related effects in neuroscience research. Study after study identifies white matter (WM) degeneration as a crucial biomarker for all these diseases. The tool of choice for studying WM is dMRI. However, dMRI has inherently low signal-to-noise ratio and its acquisition requires a relatively long scan time; in fact, the high loads required occasionally stress scanner hardware past the point of physical failure. As a result, many types of artifacts implicate the quality of diffusion imagery. Using these complex scans containing artifacts without quality control (QC) can result in considerable error and bias in the subsequent analysis, negatively affecting the results of research studies using them. However, dMRI QC remains an under-recognized issue in the dMRI community as there are no user-friendly tools commonly available to comprehensively address the issue of dMRI QC. As a result, current dMRI studies often perform a poor job at dMRI QC. Thorough QC of dMRI will reduce measurement noise and improve reproducibility, and sensitivity in neuroimaging studies; this will allow researchers to more fully exploit the power of the dMRI technique and will ultimately advance neuroscience. Therefore, in this manuscript, we present our open-source software, DTIPrep, as a unified, user friendly platform for thorough QC of dMRI data. These include artifacts caused by eddy-currents, head motion, bed vibration and pulsation, venetian blind artifacts, as well as slice-wise and gradient-wise intensity inconsistencies. This paper summarizes a basic set of features of DTIPrep described earlier and focuses on newly added capabilities related to directional artifacts and bias analysis.
    Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 01/2014; 8:4. DOI:10.3389/fninf.2014.00004 · 3.26 Impact Factor
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