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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Feb;11:116-28. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2014.10.002. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

The effects of puberty on white matter development in boys.

Author information

1
University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK; General Adolescent and Paediatric Unit, University College London Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. Electronic address: lacmenzies@gmail.com.
2
University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK; General Adolescent and Paediatric Unit, University College London Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.
3
Brain Mapping Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Sir William Hardy Building, Downing Street, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 3ED, UK.
4
University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK.
5
General Adolescent and Paediatric Unit, University College London Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK.

Abstract

Neuroimaging studies demonstrate considerable changes in white matter volume and microstructure during adolescence. Most studies have focused on age-related effects, whilst puberty-related changes are not well understood. Using diffusion tensor imaging and tract-based spatial statistics, we investigated the effects of pubertal status on white matter mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) in 61 males aged 12.7-16.0 years. Participants were grouped into early-mid puberty (≤Tanner Stage 3 in pubic hair and gonadal development; n=22) and late-post puberty (≥Tanner Stage 4 in pubic hair or gonadal development; n=39). Salivary levels of pubertal hormones (testosterone, DHEA and oestradiol) were also measured. Pubertal stage was significantly related to MD in diverse white matter regions. No relationship was observed between pubertal status and FA. Regression modelling of MD in the significant regions demonstrated that an interaction model incorporating puberty, age and puberty×age best explained our findings. In addition, testosterone was correlated with MD in these pubertally significant regions. No relationship was observed between oestradiol or DHEA and MD. In conclusion, pubertal status was significantly related to MD, but not FA, and this relationship cannot be explained by changes in chronological age alone.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Brain development; Diffusion tensor imaging; Puberty; Structural magnetic resonance imaging; Testosterone; White matter

PMID:
25454416
PMCID:
PMC4352899
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2014.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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