Article

Brain structure abnormalities in adolescent girls with conduct disorder

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Unità di Ricerca Neuroimmagini, Catanzaro, Italy.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.67). 10/2012; 54(1). DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02617.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background
Conduct disorder (CD) in female adolescents is associated with a range of negative outcomes, including teenage pregnancy and antisocial personality disorder. Although recent studies have documented changes in brain structure and function in male adolescents with CD, there have been no neuroimaging studies of female adolescents with CD. Our primary objective was to investigate whether female adolescents with CD show changes in grey matter volume. Our secondary aim was to assess for sex differences in the relationship between CD and brain structure.

Methods
Female adolescents with CD (n = 22) and healthy control participants matched in age, performance IQ and handedness (n = 20) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Group comparisons of grey matter volume were performed using voxel-based morphometry. We also tested for sex differences using archive data obtained from male CD and control participants.

Results
Female adolescents with CD showed reduced bilateral anterior insula and right striatal grey matter volumes compared with healthy controls. Aggressive CD symptoms were negatively correlated with right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volume, whereas callous-unemotional traits were positively correlated with bilateral orbitofrontal cortex volume. The sex differences analyses revealed a main effect of diagnosis on right amygdala volume (reflecting reduced amygdala volume in the combined CD group relative to controls) and sex-by-diagnosis interactions in bilateral anterior insula.

Conclusions
We observed structural abnormalities in brain regions involved in emotion processing, reward and empathy in female adolescents with CD, which broadly overlap with those reported in previous studies of CD in male adolescents.

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Available from: Nicholas David Walsh, Jul 19, 2015
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    • "In other clinical cohorts such as in those with anxiety and attention disorders, behavioral and conduct disorders have been linked with abnormal structure and activity of subcortical regions such as the caudate , striatum, amygdala, and the hippocampus. Lower functional activity of the amygdala, hippocampus, and the striatum has been seen in youth with conduct disorders [Crowley et al., 2010; Fairchild et al., 2013; Marsh et al., 2013], while smaller thalamus are found in children with ADHD [Xia et al., 2012]. In contrast, negative or nonsignificant relationships in brain-behavior relationships have been reported previously both in typical children [Lebel et al., 2010] and in typical older populations [Gautam et al., 2011]. "
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    • "Zu den zentralen Bereichen mit auffälligen Befunden zählen der zentromediale prefrontale Kortex sowie Insula, Temporallappen, die Amygdala und Hippocampus (Fairchild et al., 2011; Hübner et al., 2008; Sterzer, Stadler, Poustka & Kleinschmidt, 2007). In einer aktuellen Studie von Fairchild und Mitarbeitern (2013) wurden speziell Mädchen mit CD im Hinblick auf morphometrische Veränderungen untersucht. Es wurde im Vergleich zu den gesunden Kontrollen ein geringeres Volumen der grauen Substanz beidseits in der anterioren Insula und im rechten Striatum gefunden. "
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