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Neuroreport. 2006 Sep 18;17(13):1427-31.

Age-related changes in prefrontal white matter volume across adolescence.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA.


Past research has suggested that white matter volume increases from childhood to adulthood; however, during adolescence, there is somewhat limited data to support this finding. In the present study, 65 typically developing adolescents underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Using magnetic resonance imaging, prefrontal white matter volumes were examined in relation to adolescent age and sex. Surprisingly, results suggested that prefrontal white matter volume decreased during late adolescence, particularly among the female sex. These findings are inconsistent with past research and suggest that perhaps some developmental processes in late adolescence are not yet fully explained. Possible methodological contributions and implications for the current findings are discussed.

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