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Psychiatry Res. 2012 Nov 30;204(2-3):140-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.04.017. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

White matter microstructural alterations in children with prenatal methamphetamine/polydrug exposure.

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1
Department of Neurology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

Little is known about the effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on white matter microstructure, and the impact of concomitant alcohol exposure. Diffusion tensor imaging and neurocognitive testing were performed on 21 children with prenatal methamphetamine exposure (age 9.8±1.8 years; 17 also exposed to alcohol), 19 children with prenatal alcohol but not methamphetamine exposure (age 10.8±2.3 years) and 27 typically developing children (age 10.3±3.3 years). Whole-brain maps of fractional anisotropy (FA) were evaluated using tract-based spatial statistics. Relative to unexposed controls, children with prenatal methamphetamine exposure demonstrated higher FA mainly in left-sided regions, including the left anterior corona radiata (LCR) and corticospinal tract Post-hoc analyses of these FA differences showed they likely result more from lower radial diffusivity (RD) than higher axial diffusivity (AD). Relative to the methamphetamine-exposed group, children with prenatal alcohol exposure showed lower FA in frontotemporal regions-particularly, the right external capsule. We failed to find any group-performance interaction (on tests of executive functioning and visuomotor integration) in predicting FA; however, FA in the right external capsule was significantly associated with performance on a test of visuomotor integration across groups. This report demonstrates unique diffusion abnormalities in children with prenatal methamphetamine/polydrug exposure that are distinct from those associated with alcohol exposure alone, and illustrates that these abnormalities in brain microstructure are persistent into childhood and adolescence--long after the polydrug exposure in utero.

PMID:
23149028
PMCID:
PMC3634917
DOI:
10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.04.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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