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Cortical-Subcortical Morphometric Dissimilarity Related to Preadolescent Cognitive and Psychiatric Status

Release Time:2022/12/06Clicks:

Adolescence is a critical period characterized by dramatic morphological changes and accelerated cortico-subcortical development. Moreover, the coordinated development of cortical and subcortical regions underlies the emerging cognitive functions during this period. Deviations in this maturational coordination may underlie various psychiatric disorders that begin during preadolescence, but to date these deviations remain largely uncharted.

Prof. Jie Zhang at ISTBI worked with researchers from McGill University, University of Cambridge and East China Normal University to construct a comprehensive whole-brain morphometric similarity network (MSN) from 17 neuroimaging modalities in a large preadolescence sample (N=8,908) from Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study and investigate its association with 10 cognitive subscales and 27 psychiatric subscales or diagnoses. Based on the MSNs, each brain was clustered into five modules with distinct cytoarchitecture and evolutionary relevance. While morphometric correlation was positive within modules, it was negative between modules, especially between isocortical and paralimbic/subcortical modules; this developmental dissimilarity was genetically linked to synaptic function and neurogenesis. The cortico-subcortical dissimilarity becomes more pronounced longitudinally in healthy children, reflecting developmental differentiation of segregated cytoarchitectonic areas. Higher cortico-subcortical dissimilarity (between the isocortical and paralimbic/subcortical modules) were related to better cognitive performance. In comparison, children with poor modular differentiation between cortex and subcortex displayed higher burden of externalizing and internalizing symptoms. These results highlighted cortical-subcortical morphometric dissimilarity as a dynamic maturational marker of cognitive and psychiatric status during the preadolescent stage and provided insights into brain development.

The result was published in Molecular Psychiatry on 6 December 2022.

Full Article:

Wu, X., Palaniyappan, L., Yu, G. et al. Morphometric dis-similarity between cortical and subcortical areas underlies cognitive function and psychiatric symptomatology: a preadolescence study from ABCD. Mol Psychiatry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01896-x