9.Brain Development

9.Brain Development - Structural brain imaging is a window...

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Structural brain imaging is a window on postnatal brain development in children Terry Jernigan
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What We Thought We Knew About Brain Structure Neuronal populations and their connections (the basic architecture of the brain) are established during the prenatal period. Soon after birth oligodendrocytes proliferate, differentiate, and wrap the connecting axons with insulating, fatty, sheaths of myelin. This more or less completes the development of the hardware, and little additional growth of the brain occurs after age 5 or 6.
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“Brain structure is adult at approximately age 5.” Structural MRI of young child from NIH Brain Development Study
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Brain Morphometry
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Predictions Based on Conventional Views of Brain Morphology Adult brain structure in school-aged children. Stable brain morphological characteristics across childhood, adolescence, and adult years. Atrophy of some brain structures in old age.
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Age-Related Alterations of Normalized Cerebral Gray Matter Volume .4 .45 .5 .55 .6 .65 .7 .75 .8 0 20 40 60 80 100
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Mapping of Cortical Thinning with Longitudinal MRI Data Gogtay et al., PNAS, 2004
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Longitudinal Mapping of Cortical Thickness and Brain Growth in Normal Children (Sowell et al.,J. Neurosci., 2004) Widespread cortical thinning, and focal areas of cortical thickening observed longitudinally in children over 2 years, from 7 to 9.
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Changes in Brain Structure in Maturing Young People Childhood to Adolescence (Sowell et al, NeuroImage, 1999) Adolescence to Adulthood (Sowell et al, Nature Neuroscience, 1999)
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Age-Associated Alterations in Volumes of Subcortical Structures -2 -1 0 1 2 3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Age -2 -1 0 1 2 3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Age Thalamus N.Accumbens Hippocampus -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Age
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Why don’t young brains appear atrophied?
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White Matter Growth Associated with Post-natal Proliferation of Oligodendrocytes and Myelin Deposition -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Age
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Post-Natal Myelination is Well Visualized on MRI : Myelinating Fiber Tracts from 3 to 12 Months
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Summary During the first 2-3 decades of life, age-related tissue alterations, presumably related to brain maturation, can be observed with morphometry.
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