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Childhood Adversity Associated with White Matter Alteration in the Corpus Callosum, Corona Radiata, and Uncinate Fasciculus of Psychiatrically Healthy Adults

Institution:
1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. s.mccarthyjones@gmail.com.
2School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
3Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
5VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.
Publisher:
Springer
Publication Date:
Apr-2018
Journal:
Brain Imaging Behav
Volume Number:
12
Issue Number:
2
Pages:
449-58
Citation:
Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Apr;12(2):449-58.
PubMed ID:
28341872
Keywords:
Abuse, Diffusion tensor imaging, Free-water, Trauma
Appears in Collections:
NAC, LMI, PNL, SPL
Sponsors:
R01 MH108574/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 AG04252/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH102377/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
R01 MH074794/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
P41 EB015902/EB/NIBIB NIH HHS/United States
T32 MH016259/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
DE140101077//Australian Research Council
DP140104394//Australian Research Council
22591//National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
Generated Citation:
McCarthy-Jones S., Oestreich L.K.L., Lyall A.E., Kikinis Z., Newell D.T., Savadjiev P., Shenton M.E., Kubicki M., Pasternak O., Whitford T.J. Childhood Adversity Associated with White Matter Alteration in the Corpus Callosum, Corona Radiata, and Uncinate Fasciculus of Psychiatrically Healthy Adults. Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Apr;12(2):449-58. PMID: 28341872.
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Diffusion tensor imaging studies report childhood adversity (CA) is associated with reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) in multiple white matter tracts in adults. Reduced FA may result from changes in tissue, suggesting myelin/axonal damage, and/or from increased levels of extracellular free-water, suggesting atrophy or neuroinflammation. Free-water imaging can separately identify FA in tissue (FAT) and the fractional volume of free-water (FW). We tested whether CA was associated with altered FA, FAT, and FW in seven white matter regions of interest (ROI), in which FA changes had been previously linked to CA (corona radiata, corpus callosum, fornix, cingulum bundle: hippocampal projection, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus, uncinate fasciculus). Tract-based spatial statistics were performed in 147 psychiatrically healthy adults who had completed a self-report questionnaire on CA primarily stemming from parental maltreatment. ROI were extracted according to the protocol provided by the ENIGMA-DTI working group. Analyses were performed both treating CA as a continuous and a categorical variable. CA was associated with reduced FA in all ROI (although categorical analyses failed to find an association in the fornix). In contrast, CA was only associated with reduced FATin the corona radiata, corpus callosum, and uncinate fasciculus (with the continuous measure of CA finding evidence of a negative relation between CA and FATin the fornix). There was no association between CA on FW in any ROI. These results provide preliminary evidence that childhood adversity is associated with changes to the microstructure of white matter itself in adulthood. However, these results should be treated with caution until they can be replicated by future studies which address the limitations of the present study.