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Compulsivity and impulsivity are linked to distinct aberrant developmental trajectories of fronto-striatal myelination

By Gabriel Ziegler, Tobias U Hauser, Michael Moutoussis, Edward T. Bullmore, Ian M. Goodyer, Peter Fonagy, Peter B. Jones, NSPN Consortium, Ulman Lindenberger, Raymond J. Dolan

Posted 23 May 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/328146 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41593-019-0394-3)

The transition from adolescence into adulthood is a period where rapid brain development coincides with an enhanced incidence of psychiatric disorder. The precise developmental brain changes that account for this emergent psychiatric symptomatology remain obscure. Capitalising on a unique longitudinal dataset, that includes in-vivo myelin-sensitive magnetization transfer (MT) MRI, we show this transition period is characterised by brain-wide growth in MT, within both gray matter and adjacent juxta-cortical white matter. We show that an expression of common developmental psychiatric risk symptomatology in this otherwise healthy population, specifically compulsivity and impulsivity, is tied to regionally specific aberrant unfolding of these MT trajectories. This is most marked in frontal midline structures for compulsivity, and in lateral frontal areas for impulsivity. The findings highlight a brain developmental linkage for emergent psychiatric risk features, evident in regionally specific perturbations in the expansion of MT-related myelination.

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