White matter development in early puberty: a longitudinal volumetric and diffusion tensor imaging twin study.
ABSTRACT White matter microstructure and volume show synchronous developmental patterns in children. White matter volume increases considerably during development. Fractional anisotropy, a measure for white matter microstructural directionality, also increases with age. Development of white matter volume and development of white matter microstructure seem to go hand in hand. The extent to which the same or different genetic and/or environmental factors drive these two aspects of white matter maturation is currently unknown. We mapped changes in white matter volume, surface area and diffusion parameters in mono- and dizygotic twins who were scanned at age 9 (203 individuals) and again at age 12 (126 individuals). Over the three-year interval, white matter volume (+6.0%) and surface area (+1.7%) increased, fiber bundles expanded (most pronounced in the left arcuate fasciculus and splenium), and fractional anisotropy increased (+3.0%). Genes influenced white matter volume (heritability ~85%), surface area (~85%), and fractional anisotropy (locally 7% to 50%) at both ages. Finally, volumetric white matter growth was negatively correlated with fractional anisotropy increase (r = -0.62) and this relationship was driven by environmental factors. In children who showed the most pronounced white matter growth, fractional anisotropy increased the least and vice-versa. Thus, white matter development in childhood may reflect a process of both expansion and fiber optimization.
Nature Neuroscience 11/1999; 2(10):861-3. · 15.53 Impact Factor
Article: Age-related changes in frontal and temporal lobe volumes in men: a magnetic resonance imaging study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Imaging and postmortem studies provide converging evidence that, beginning in adolescence, gray matter volume declines linearly until old age, while cerebrospinal fluid volumes are stable in adulthood (age 20-50 years). Given the fixed volume of the cranium in adulthood, it is surprising that most studies observe no white matter volume expansion after approximately age 20 years. We examined the effects of the aging process on the frontal and temporal lobes. Seventy healthy adult men aged 19 to 76 years underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Coronal images focused on the frontal and temporal lobes were acquired using pulse sequences that maximized gray vs white matter contrast. The volumes of total frontal and temporal lobes as well as the gray and white matter subcomponents were evaluated. Age-related linear loss in gray matter volume in both frontal (r = -0.62, P<.001) and temporal (r = -0.48, P<.001) lobes was confirmed. However, the quadratic function best represented the relationship between age and white matter volume in the frontal (P<.001) and temporal (P<.001) lobes. Secondary analyses indicated that white matter volume increased until age 44 years for the frontal lobes and age 47 years for the temporal lobes and then declined. The changes in white matter suggest that the adult brain is in a constant state of change roughly defined as periods of maturation continuing into the fifth decade of life followed by degeneration. Pathological states that interfere with such maturational processes could result in neurodevelopmental arrests in adulthood.Archives of General Psychiatry 05/2001; 58(5):461-5. · 12.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology now allow the tracing of developmental changes in the brains of children. We applied computer-matching algorithms and new techniques for measuring cortical thickness (in millimeters) to the structural MRI images of 45 children scanned twice (2 yr apart) between the ages 5 and 11. Changes in brain size were also assessed, showing local brain growth progressing at a rate of approximately 0.4-1.5 mm per year, most prominently in frontal and occipital regions. Estimated cortical thickness ranged from 1.5 mm in occipital regions to 5.5 mm in dorsomedial frontal cortex. Gray matter thinning coupled with cortical expansion was highly significant in right frontal and bilateral parieto-occipital regions. Significant thickening was restricted to left inferior frontal (Broca's area) and bilateral posterior perisylvian (Wernicke's area on the left) regions. In the left hemisphere, gray matter thickness was correlated with changing cognitive abilities. For the first time, developmental changes in gray matter thickness, brain size, and structure-function relationships have been traced within the same individuals studied longitudinally during a time of rapid cognitive development.Journal of Neuroscience 10/2004; 24(38):8223-31. · 7.11 Impact Factor