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Neuroimage. 2015 Jan 1;104:138-45. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.10.005. Epub 2014 Oct 13.

Accelerated longitudinal cortical thinning in adolescence.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: dzhou2@ualberta.ca.
2
Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: clebel@ucalgary.ca.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: treit@ualberta.ca.
4
McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: alan@bic.mni.mcgill.ca.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: christian.beaulieu@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

It remains unclear if changes of the cerebral cortex occur gradually from childhood to adulthood, or if adolescence marks a differential period of cortical development. In the current study of 90 healthy volunteers aged 5-32years (48 females, 85 right handed) with 180 scans (2 scans for each participant with ~4year gaps), thinning of overall mean thickness and across the four major cortical lobes bilaterally was observed across this full age span. However, the thinning rate, calculated as Δcortical thickness/Δage (mm/year) between scans of each participant, revealed an accelerated cortical thinning during adolescence, which was preceded by less thinning in childhood and followed by decelerated thinning in young adulthood. Males and females showed similarly faster thinning rates during adolescence relative to young adults. The underlying basis and role of accelerated cortical thinning during adolescence for cognition, behaviour and disorders that appear at such a stage of development remains to be determined in future work.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescents; Brain maturity; Children; Cortical thickness; Development; Longitudinal; MRI

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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