Background Childhood abuse is associated with structural brain abnormalities. Few studies have investigated white matter tract abnormalities in medication-naive, drug-free individuals who experienced childhood abuse. We examined the association between childhood abuse and abnormalities in white matter tracts in that population, controlling for psychiatric comorbidities. Methods We collected diffusion tensor imaging data for age- and sex-matched youth with childhood abuse, psychiatric controls (matched for psychiatric diagnoses) and healthy controls. Tract-specific analysis was conducted using tractography. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to assess group differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) at the whole-brain level. Results We included 20 youth who experienced childhood abuse, 18 psychiatric controls and 25 healthy controls in our analysis. Tractography analysis showed abuse-specific reduced tract volume in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus (IFoF) in the abuse group relative to both healthy and psychiatric controls. Furthermore, abnormalities in the left IFoF were associated with greater abuse severity. The TBSS analysis showed significantly reduced FA in a left-hemispheric cluster comprising the ILF, IFoF and corpus callosum splenium in the abuse group relative to healthy and psychiatric controls. Limitations It is unclear to what extent pubertal development, malnutrition and prenatal drug exposure may have influenced the findings. Conclusion Childhood abuse is associated with altered structure of neural pathways connecting the frontal, temporal and occipital cortices that are known to mediate affect and cognitive control. The abuse-specific deficits in the ILF and IFoF suggest that fibre tracts presumably involved in conveying and processing the adverse abusive experience are specifically compromised in this population.

Altered white matter connectivity in young people exposed to childhood abuse: a tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and tractography study / L. Lim, H. Hart, H.R. Howells, M. A Mehta, A. Simmons, K. Mirza, K. Rubia. - In: JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY & NEUROSCIENCE. - ISSN 1180-4882. - 44:4(2019 Jul), pp. E11-E20.

Altered white matter connectivity in young people exposed to childhood abuse: a tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and tractography study

Henrietta Howells;
2019-07

Abstract

Background Childhood abuse is associated with structural brain abnormalities. Few studies have investigated white matter tract abnormalities in medication-naive, drug-free individuals who experienced childhood abuse. We examined the association between childhood abuse and abnormalities in white matter tracts in that population, controlling for psychiatric comorbidities. Methods We collected diffusion tensor imaging data for age- and sex-matched youth with childhood abuse, psychiatric controls (matched for psychiatric diagnoses) and healthy controls. Tract-specific analysis was conducted using tractography. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used to assess group differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) at the whole-brain level. Results We included 20 youth who experienced childhood abuse, 18 psychiatric controls and 25 healthy controls in our analysis. Tractography analysis showed abuse-specific reduced tract volume in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus (IFoF) in the abuse group relative to both healthy and psychiatric controls. Furthermore, abnormalities in the left IFoF were associated with greater abuse severity. The TBSS analysis showed significantly reduced FA in a left-hemispheric cluster comprising the ILF, IFoF and corpus callosum splenium in the abuse group relative to healthy and psychiatric controls. Limitations It is unclear to what extent pubertal development, malnutrition and prenatal drug exposure may have influenced the findings. Conclusion Childhood abuse is associated with altered structure of neural pathways connecting the frontal, temporal and occipital cortices that are known to mediate affect and cognitive control. The abuse-specific deficits in the ILF and IFoF suggest that fibre tracts presumably involved in conveying and processing the adverse abusive experience are specifically compromised in this population.
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
Settore BIO/16 - Anatomia Umana
Settore MED/25 - Psichiatria
JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY & NEUROSCIENCE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/680048
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