Publications by authors named "Arun L W Bokde"

173 Publications

Relationship Between MRI Scoring Systems and Neurodevelopmental Outcome at Two Years in Infants With Neonatal Encephalopathy.

Pediatr Neurol 2021 Oct 13;126:35-42. Epub 2021 Oct 13.

Cognitive Systems Group, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scoring systems are used in the neonatal period to predict outcome in infants with neonatal encephalopathy. Our aim was to assess the relationship between three MRI scores and neurodevelopmental outcome assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition (Bayley-III), at two years in infants with neonatal encephalopathy.

Methods: Term-born neonates with evidence of perinatal asphyxia born between 2011 and 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. MRI scanning was performed within the first two weeks of life and scored using Barkovich, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Neonatal Research Network (NRN), and Weeke systems by a single assessor blinded to the infants clinical course. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed using composite scores on the Bayley-III at two years. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to assess the association between MRI scores and Bayley-III composite scores, with postmenstrual age at scan and sex included as covariates.

Results: Of the 135 recruited infants, 90 infants underwent MRI, and of these, 66 returned for follow-up. MRI abnormalities were detected with the highest frequency using the Weeke score (Barkovich 40%, NICHD NRN 50%, Weeke 77%). The inter-rater agreement was good for the Barkovich score and excellent for NICHD NRN and Weeke scores. There was a significant association between Barkovich, NICHD NRN, and Weeke scores and Bayley-III cognitive and motor scores. Only the Weeke score was associated with Bayley-III language scores.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm the predictive value of existing MRI scoring systems for cognitive and motor outcome and suggest that more detailed scoring systems have predictive value for language outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.10.005DOI Listing
October 2021

Global urbanicity is associated with brain and behaviour in young people.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 Oct 28. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Department of Magnetic Resonance, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou, China.

Urbanicity is a growing environmental challenge for mental health. Here, we investigate correlations of urbanicity with brain structure and function, neuropsychology and mental illness symptoms in young people from China and Europe (total n = 3,867). We developed a remote-sensing satellite measure (UrbanSat) to quantify population density at any point on Earth. UrbanSat estimates of urbanicity were correlated with brain volume, cortical surface area and brain network connectivity in the medial prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. UrbanSat was also associated with perspective-taking and depression symptoms, and this was mediated by neural variables. Urbanicity effects were greatest when urban exposure occurred in childhood for the cerebellum, and from childhood to adolescence for the prefrontal cortex. As UrbanSat can be generalized to different geographies, it may enable assessments of correlations of urbanicity with mental illness and resilience globally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-021-01204-7DOI Listing
October 2021

Immune-Related Genetic Overlap Between Regional Gray Matter Reductions and Psychiatric Symptoms in Adolescents, and Gene-Set Validation in a Translational Model.

Front Syst Neurosci 2021 30;15:725413. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

University of Paris, CNRS, INCC, Paris, France.

Adolescence is a period of vulnerability for the maturation of gray matter (GM) and also for the onset of psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Chronic neuroinflammation is considered to play a role in the etiology of these illnesses. However, the involvement of neuroinflammation in the observed link between regional GM volume reductions and psychiatric symptoms is not established yet. Here, we investigated a possible common immune-related genetic link between these two phenomena in european adolescents recruited from the community. Hippocampal and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) were defined as regions of interest (ROIs). Their GM volumes were extracted in 1,563 14-year-olds from the IMAGEN database. We found a set of 26 SNPs that correlated with the hippocampal volumes and 29 with the mPFC volumes at age 14. We formed two ROI-Related Immune-gene scores (RRI) with the inflammation SNPs that correlated to hippocampal GM volume and to mPFC GM volume. The predictive ability of both RRIs with regards to the presence of psychiatric symptoms at age 18 was investigated by correlating the RRIs with psychometric questionnaires obtained at age 18. The RRIs (but not control scores constructed with random SNPs) correlated with the presence of depressive symptoms, positive psychotic symptoms, and externalizing symptoms in later adolescence. In addition, the effect of childhood maltreatment, one of the major environmental risk factors for depression and other mental disorders, interacted with the RRI effect. We next sought to validate this finding by investigating our set of inflammatory genes in a translational animal model of early life adversity. Mice were subjected to a protocol of maternal separation at an early post-natal age. We evaluated depressive behaviors in separated and non-separated mice at adolescence and their correlations with the concomitant expression of our genes in whole blood samples. We show that in mice, early life adversity affected the expression of our set of genes in peripheral blood, and that levels of expression correlated with symptoms of negative affect in adolescence. Overall, our translational findings in adolescent mice and humans provide a novel validated gene-set of immune-related genes for further research in the early stages of mood disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2021.725413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8514661PMC
September 2021

Similarity and stability of face network across populations and throughout adolescence and adulthood.

Neuroimage 2021 Dec 21;244:118587. Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, 3175 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1C5, Canada. Electronic address:

The ability to extract cues from faces is fundamental for social animals, including humans. An individual's profile of functional connectivity across a face network can be shaped by common organizing principles, stable individual traits, and time-varying mental states. In the present study, we used data obtained with functional magnetic resonance imaging in two cohorts, IMAGEN (N = 534) and ALSPAC (N = 465), to investigate - both at group and individual levels - the consistency of the regional profile of functional connectivity across populations (IMAGEN, ALSPAC) and time (Visits 1 to 3 in IMAGEN; age 14 to 22 years). At the group level, we found a robust canonical profile of connectivity both across populations and time. At the individual level, connectivity profiles deviated from the canonical profile, and the magnitude of this deviation related to the presence of psychopathology. These findings suggest that the brain processes faces in a highly stereotypical manner, and that the deviations from this normative pattern may be related to the risk of mental illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118587DOI Listing
December 2021

Association of Cannabis Use During Adolescence With Neurodevelopment.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Importance: Animal studies have shown that the adolescent brain is sensitive to disruptions in endocannabinoid signaling, resulting in altered neurodevelopment and lasting behavioral effects. However, few studies have investigated ties between cannabis use and adolescent brain development in humans.

Objective: To examine the degree to which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-assessed cerebral cortical thickness development is associated with cannabis use in a longitudinal sample of adolescents.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Data were obtained from the community-based IMAGEN cohort study, conducted across 8 European sites. Baseline data used in the present study were acquired from March 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011, and follow-up data were acquired from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2016. A total of 799 IMAGEN participants were identified who reported being cannabis naive at study baseline and had behavioral and neuroimaging data available at baseline and 5-year follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed from October 1, 2019, to August 31, 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Cannabis use was assessed at baseline and 5-year follow-up with the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs. Anatomical MR images were acquired with a 3-dimensional T1-weighted magnetization prepared gradient echo sequence. Quality-controlled native MR images were processed through the CIVET pipeline, version 2.1.0.

Results: The study evaluated 1598 MR images from 799 participants (450 female participants [56.3%]; mean [SD] age, 14.4 [0.4] years at baseline and 19.0 [0.7] years at follow-up). At 5-year follow-up, cannabis use (from 0 to >40 uses) was negatively associated with thickness in left prefrontal (peak: t785 = -4.87, cluster size = 1558 vertices; P = 1.10 × 10-6, random field theory cluster corrected) and right prefrontal (peak: t785 = -4.27, cluster size = 1551 vertices; P = 2.81 × 10-5, random field theory cluster corrected) cortices. There were no significant associations between lifetime cannabis use at 5-year follow-up and baseline cortical thickness, suggesting that the observed neuroanatomical differences did not precede initiation of cannabis use. Longitudinal analysis revealed that age-related cortical thinning was qualified by cannabis use in a dose-dependent fashion such that greater use, from baseline to follow-up, was associated with increased thinning in left prefrontal (peak: t815.27 = -4.24, cluster size = 3643 vertices; P = 2.28 × 10-8, random field theory cluster corrected) and right prefrontal (peak: t813.30 = -4.71, cluster size = 2675 vertices; P = 3.72 × 10-8, random field theory cluster corrected) cortices. The spatial pattern of cannabis-related thinning was associated with age-related thinning in this sample (r = 0.540; P < .001), and a positron emission tomography-assessed cannabinoid 1 receptor-binding map derived from a separate sample of participants (r = -0.189; P < .001). Analysis revealed that thinning in right prefrontal cortices, from baseline to follow-up, was associated with attentional impulsiveness at follow-up.

Conclusions And Relevance: Results suggest that cannabis use during adolescence is associated with altered neurodevelopment, particularly in cortices rich in cannabinoid 1 receptors and undergoing the greatest age-related thickness change in middle to late adolescence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.1258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8209561PMC
June 2021

Relationship between resting-state fMRI functional connectivity with motor and language outcome after perinatal brain injury - A systematic review.

Eur J Paediatr Neurol 2021 Jul 15;33:36-49. Epub 2021 May 15.

Cognitive Systems Group, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Perinatal brain injury is a significant cause of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. The objective of this systematic review was to identify patterns of altered brain function, quantified using functional connectivity (FC) changes in resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) data, that were associated with motor and language outcomes in individuals with a history of perinatal brain injury. A systematic search using electronic databases was conducted to identify relevant studies. A total of 10 studies were included in the systematic review, representing 260 individuals with a history of perinatal brain injury. Motor and language outcomes were measured at time points ranging from 4 months to 29 years 1 month. Relations between FC and motor measures revealed increased intra-hemispheric FC, reduced inter-hemispheric FC and impaired lateralization of motor-related brain regions associated with motor outcomes. Altered FC within sensorimotor, visual, cerebellum and frontoparietal networks, and between sensorimotor, visual, auditory and higher-order networks, including cerebellum, frontoparietal, default-mode, salience, self-referential and attentional networks were also associated with motor outcomes. In studies assessing the relationship between rs-fMRI and language outcome, reduced intra-hemispheric FC, increased inter-hemispheric FC and right-hemisphere lateralization of language-related brain regions correlated with language outcomes. Evidence from this systematic review suggests a possible association between diaschisis and motor and language impairments in individuals after perinatal brain lesions. These findings support the need to explore the contributions of additional brain regions functionally connected but remote from the primary lesioned brain area for targeted treatments and appropriate intervention, though more studies with increased standardization across neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental assessments are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.05.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Endocannabinoid Gene × Gene Interaction Association to Alcohol Use Disorder in Two Adolescent Cohorts.

Front Psychiatry 2021 20;12:645746. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Genetic markers of the endocannabinoid system have been linked to a variety of addiction-related behaviors that extend beyond cannabis use. In the current study we investigate the relationship between endocannabinoid (eCB) genetic markers and alcohol use disorder (AUD) in European adolescents (14-18 years old) followed in the IMAGEN study ( = 2,051) and explore replication in a cohort of North American adolescents from Canadian Saguenay Youth Study (SYS) ( = 772). Case-control status is represented by a score of more than 7 on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). First a set-based test method was used to examine if a relationship between the eCB system and AUDIT case/control status exists at the gene level. Using only SNPs that are both independent and significantly associated to case-control status, we perform Fisher's exact test to determine SNP level odds ratios in relation to case-control status and then perform logistic regressions as analysis, while considering various covariates. Generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR) was used to analyze the most robust SNP×SNP interaction of the five eCB genes with positive AUDIT screen. While no gene-sets were significantly associated to AUDIT scores after correction for multiple tests, in the case/control analysis, 7 SNPs were significantly associated with AUDIT scores of > 7 ( < 0.05; OR<1). Two SNPs remain significant after correction by false discovery rate (FDR): rs9343525 in (p =0.042, OR = 0.73) and rs507961 in (p = 0.043, OR = 0.78). Logistic regression showed that both rs9353525 () and rs507961 () remained significantly associated with positive AUDIT screens ( < 0.01; OR < 1) after correction for multiple covariables and interaction of covariable × SNP. This result was not replicated in the SYS cohort. The GMDR model revealed a significant three-SNP interaction ( = 0.006) involving rs484061 (), rs4963307 (), and rs7766029 () predicted case-control status, after correcting for multiple covariables in the IMAGEN sample. A binomial logistic regression of the combination of these three SNPs by phenotype in the SYS cohort showed a result in the same direction as seen in the IMAGEN cohort (BETA = 0.501, = 0.06). While preliminary, the present study suggests that the eCB system may play a role in the development of AUD in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.645746DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8093566PMC
April 2021

Reward Processing in Novelty Seekers: A Transdiagnostic Psychiatric Imaging Biomarker.

Biol Psychiatry 2021 10 30;90(8):529-539. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

Centre for Population Neuroscience and Stratified Medicine, Institute for Science and Technology of Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Dysfunctional reward processing is implicated in multiple mental disorders. Novelty seeking (NS) assesses preference for seeking novel experiences, which is linked to sensitivity to reward environmental cues.

Methods: A subset of 14-year-old adolescents (IMAGEN) with the top 20% ranked high-NS scores was used to identify high-NS-associated multimodal components by supervised fusion. These features were then used to longitudinally predict five different risk scales for the same and unseen subjects (an independent dataset of subjects at 19 years of age that was not used in predictive modeling training at 14 years of age) (within IMAGEN, n ≈1100) and even for the corresponding symptom scores of five types of patient cohorts (non-IMAGEN), including drinking (n = 313), smoking (n = 104), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (n = 320), major depressive disorder (n = 81), and schizophrenia (n = 147), as well as to classify different patient groups with diagnostic labels.

Results: Multimodal biomarkers, including the prefrontal cortex, striatum, amygdala, and hippocampus, associated with high NS in 14-year-old adolescents were identified. The prediction models built on these features are able to longitudinally predict five different risk scales, including alcohol drinking, smoking, hyperactivity, depression, and psychosis for the same and unseen 19-year-old adolescents and even predict the corresponding symptom scores of five types of patient cohorts. Furthermore, the identified reward-related multimodal features can classify among attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia with an accuracy of 87.2%.

Conclusions: Adolescents with higher NS scores can be used to reveal brain alterations in the reward-related system, implicating potential higher risk for subsequent development of multiple disorders. The identified high-NS-associated multimodal reward-related signatures may serve as a transdiagnostic neuroimaging biomarker to predict disease risks or severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.01.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322149PMC
October 2021

Orbitofrontal control of conduct problems? Evidence from healthy adolescents processing negative facial affect.

Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Square J5, 68159, Mannheim, Germany.

Conduct problems (CP) in patients with disruptive behavior disorders have been linked to impaired prefrontal processing of negative facial affect compared to controls. However, it is unknown whether associations with prefrontal activity during affective face processing hold along the CP dimension in a healthy population sample, and how subcortical processing is affected. We measured functional brain responses during negative affective face processing in 1444 healthy adolescents [M = 14.39 years (SD = 0.40), 51.5% female] from the European IMAGEN multicenter study. To determine the effects of CP, we applied a two-step approach: (a) testing matched subgroups of low versus high CP, extending into the clinical range [N = 182 per group, M = 14.44 years, (SD = 0.41), 47.3% female] using analysis of variance, and (b) considering (non)linear effects along the CP dimension in the full sample and in the high CP group using multiple regression. We observed no significant cortical or subcortical effect of CP group on brain responses to negative facial affect. In the full sample, regression analyses revealed a significant linear increase of left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) activity with increasing CP up to the clinical range. In the high CP group, a significant inverted u-shaped effect indicated that left OFC responses decreased again in individuals with high CP. Left OFC activity during negative affective processing which is increasing with CP and decreasing in the highest CP range may reflect on the importance of frontal control mechanisms that counteract the consequences of severe CP by facilitating higher social engagement and better evaluation of social content in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01770-1DOI Listing
April 2021

The interaction of child abuse and rs1360780 of the FKBP5 gene is associated with amygdala resting-state functional connectivity in young adults.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Jul 5;42(10):3269-3281. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy CCM, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Extensive research has demonstrated that rs1360780, a common single nucleotide polymorphism within the FKBP5 gene, interacts with early-life stress in predicting psychopathology. Previous results suggest that carriers of the TT genotype of rs1360780 who were exposed to child abuse show differences in structure and functional activation of emotion-processing brain areas belonging to the salience network. Extending these findings on intermediate phenotypes of psychopathology, we examined if the interaction between rs1360780 and child abuse predicts resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) between the amygdala and other areas of the salience network. We analyzed data of young European adults from the general population (N = 774; mean age = 18.76 years) who took part in the IMAGEN study. In the absence of main effects of genotype and abuse, a significant interaction effect was observed for rsFC between the right centromedial amygdala and right posterior insula (p < .025, FWE-corrected), which was driven by stronger rsFC in TT allele carriers with a history of abuse. Our results suggest that the TT genotype of rs1360780 may render individuals with a history of abuse more vulnerable to functional changes in communication between brain areas processing emotions and bodily sensations, which could underlie or increase the risk for psychopathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8193540PMC
July 2021

Sex differences in neural correlates of common psychopathological symptoms in early adolescence.

Psychol Med 2021 Mar 26:1-11. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Centre for Population Neuroscience and Stratified Medicine (PONS) and Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.

Background: Sex-related differences in psychopathology are known phenomena, with externalizing and internalizing symptoms typically more common in boys and girls, respectively. However, the neural correlates of these sex-by-psychopathology interactions are underinvestigated, particularly in adolescence.

Methods: Participants were 14 years of age and part of the IMAGEN study, a large (N = 1526) community-based sample. To test for sex-by-psychopathology interactions in structural grey matter volume (GMV), we used whole-brain, voxel-wise neuroimaging analyses based on robust non-parametric methods. Psychopathological symptom data were derived from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

Results: We found a sex-by-hyperactivity/inattention interaction in four brain clusters: right temporoparietal-opercular region (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = -0.24), bilateral anterior and mid-cingulum (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = -0.18), right cerebellum and fusiform (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = -0.20) and left frontal superior and middle gyri (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = -0.26). Higher symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention were associated with lower GMV in all four brain clusters in boys, and with higher GMV in the temporoparietal-opercular and cerebellar-fusiform clusters in girls.

Conclusions: Using a large, sex-balanced and community-based sample, our study lends support to the idea that externalizing symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention may be associated with different neural structures in male and female adolescents. The brain regions we report have been associated with a myriad of important cognitive functions, in particular, attention, cognitive and motor control, and timing, that are potentially relevant to understand the behavioural manifestations of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. This study highlights the importance of considering sex in our efforts to uncover mechanisms underlying psychopathology during adolescence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720005140DOI Listing
March 2021

Predicting Depression Onset in Young People Based on Clinical, Cognitive, Environmental, and Neurobiological Data.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Background: Adolescent onset of depression is associated with long-lasting negative consequences. Identifying adolescents at risk for developing depression would enable the monitoring of risk factors and the development of early intervention strategies. Using machine learning to combine several risk factors from multiple modalities might allow prediction of depression onset at the individual level.

Methods: A subsample of a multisite longitudinal study in adolescents, the IMAGEN study, was used to predict future (subthreshold) major depressive disorder onset in healthy adolescents. Based on 2-year and 5-year follow-up data, participants were grouped into the following: 1) those developing a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or subthreshold major depressive disorder and 2) healthy control subjects. Baseline measurements of 145 variables from different modalities (clinical, cognitive, environmental, and structural magnetic resonance imaging) at age 14 years were used as input to penalized logistic regression (with different levels of penalization) to predict depression onset in a training dataset (n = 407). The features contributing the highest to the prediction were validated in an independent hold-out sample (three independent IMAGEN sites; n = 137).

Results: The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for predicting depression onset ranged between 0.70 and 0.72 in the training dataset. Baseline severity of depressive symptoms, female sex, neuroticism, stressful life events, and surface area of the supramarginal gyrus contributed most to the predictive model and predicted onset of depression, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve between 0.68 and 0.72 in the independent validation sample.

Conclusions: This study showed that depression onset in adolescents can be predicted based on a combination multimodal data of clinical characteristics, life events, personality traits, and brain structure variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.03.005DOI Listing
March 2021

Differential predictors for alcohol use in adolescents as a function of familial risk.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 03 4;11(1):157. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Social and Preventive Medicine, Department of Sports and Health Sciences, Intra-faculty unit "Cognitive Sciences", Faculty of Human Science, and Faculty of Health Sciences Brandenburg, Research Area Services Research and e-Health, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.

Traditional models of future alcohol use in adolescents have used variable-centered approaches, predicting alcohol use from a set of variables across entire samples or populations. Following the proposition that predictive factors may vary in adolescents as a function of family history, we used a two-pronged approach by first defining clusters of familial risk, followed by prediction analyses within each cluster. Thus, for the first time in adolescents, we tested whether adolescents with a family history of drug abuse exhibit a set of predictors different from adolescents without a family history. We apply this approach to a genetic risk score and individual differences in personality, cognition, behavior (risk-taking and discounting) substance use behavior at age 14, life events, and functional brain imaging, to predict scores on the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) at age 14 and 16 in a sample of adolescents (N = 1659 at baseline, N = 1327 at follow-up) from the IMAGEN cohort, a longitudinal community-based cohort of adolescents. In the absence of familial risk (n = 616), individual differences in baseline drinking, personality measures (extraversion, negative thinking), discounting behaviors, life events, and ventral striatal activation during reward anticipation were significantly associated with future AUDIT scores, while the overall model explained 22% of the variance in future AUDIT. In the presence of familial risk (n = 711), drinking behavior at age 14, personality measures (extraversion, impulsivity), behavioral risk-taking, and life events were significantly associated with future AUDIT scores, explaining 20.1% of the overall variance. Results suggest that individual differences in personality, cognition, life events, brain function, and drinking behavior contribute differentially to the prediction of future alcohol misuse. This approach may inform more individualized preventive interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01260-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7933140PMC
March 2021

Examination of the association between exposure to childhood maltreatment and brain structure in young adults: a machine learning analysis.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2021 10 26;46(11):1888-1894. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Exposure to maltreatment during childhood is associated with structural changes throughout the brain. However, the structural differences that are most strongly associated with maltreatment remain unclear given the limited number of whole-brain studies. The present study used machine learning to identify if and how brain structure distinguished young adults with and without a history of maltreatment. Young adults (ages 18-21, n = 384) completed an assessment of childhood trauma exposure and a structural MRI as part of the IMAGEN study. Elastic net regularized regression was used to identify the structural features that identified those with a history of maltreatment. A generalizable model that included 7 cortical thicknesses, 15 surface areas, and 5 subcortical volumes was identified (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.71, p < 0.001). Those with a maltreatment history had reduced surface areas and cortical thicknesses primarily in fronto-temporal regions. This group also had larger cortical thicknesses in occipital regions and surface areas in frontal regions. The results suggest childhood maltreatment is associated with multiple measures of structure throughout the brain. The use of a large sample without exposure to adulthood trauma provides further evidence for the unique contribution of childhood trauma to brain structure. The identified regions overlapped with regions associated with psychopathology in adults with maltreatment histories, which offers insights as to how these disorders manifest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41386-021-00987-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8429761PMC
October 2021

Irregular sleep habits, regional grey matter volumes, and psychological functioning in adolescents.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(2):e0243720. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

National Institute of Health and Medical Research, INSERM U A10 "Trajectoires développementales & psychiatrie", University Paris-Saclay, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Centre Borelli, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.

Changing sleep rhythms in adolescents often lead to sleep deficits and a delay in sleep timing between weekdays and weekends. The adolescent brain, and in particular the rapidly developing structures involved in emotional control, are vulnerable to external and internal factors. In our previous study in adolescents at age 14, we observed a strong relationship between weekend sleep schedules and regional medial prefrontal cortex grey matter volumes. Here, we aimed to assess whether this relationship remained in this group of adolescents of the general population at the age of 16 (n = 101; mean age 16.8 years; 55% girls). We further examined grey matter volumes in the hippocampi and the amygdalae, calculated with voxel-based morphometry. In addition, we investigated the relationships between sleep habits, assessed with self-reports, and regional grey matter volumes, and psychological functioning, assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and tests on working memory and impulsivity. Later weekend wake-up times were associated with smaller grey matter volumes in the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdalae, and greater weekend delays in wake-up time were associated with smaller grey matter volumes in the right hippocampus and amygdala. The medial prefrontal cortex region mediated the correlation between weekend wake up time and externalising symptoms. Paying attention to regular sleep habits during adolescence could act as a protective factor against the emergence of psychopathology via enabling favourable brain development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243720PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875363PMC
July 2021

Neural network involving medial orbitofrontal cortex and dorsal periaqueductal gray regulation in human alcohol abuse.

Sci Adv 2021 Feb 3;7(6). Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Prompted by recent evidence of neural circuitry in rodent models, functional magnetic resonance imaging and functional connectivity analyses were conducted for a large adolescent population at two ages, together with alcohol abuse measures, to characterize a neural network that may underlie the onset of alcoholism. A network centered on the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), as well as including the dorsal periaqueductal gray (dPAG), central nucleus of the amygdala, and nucleus accumbens, was identified, consistent with the rodent models, with evidence of both inhibitory and excitatory coregulation by the mOFC over the dPAG. Furthermore, significant relationships were detected between raised baseline excitatory coregulation in this network and impulsivity measures, supporting a role for negative urgency in alcohol dependence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd4074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857680PMC
February 2021

Are psychotic-like experiences related to a discontinuation of cannabis consumption in young adults?

Schizophr Res 2021 02 23;228:271-279. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Department of Developmental Psychology, Adapt Lab, Research Priority Area Yield, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B, 1018 WS Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Objective: To assess changes in cannabis use in young adults as a function of psychotic-like experiences.

Method: Participants were initially recruited at age 14 in high schools for the longitudinal IMAGEN study. All measures presented here were assessed at follow-ups at age 19 and at age 22, respectively. Perceived stress was only assessed once at age 22. Ever users of cannabis (N = 552) gave qualitative and quantitative information on cannabis use and psychotic-like experiences using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE). Of those, nearly all n = 549 reported to have experienced at least one psychotic experience of any form at age 19.

Results: Mean cannabis use increased from age 19 to 22 and age of first use of cannabis was positively associated with a change in cannabis use between the two time points. Change in cannabis use was not significantly associated with psychotic-like experiences at age 19 or 22. In exploratory analysis, we observed a positive association between perceived stress and the experience of psychotic experiences at age 22.

Conclusion: Age of first use of cannabis influenced trajectories of young cannabis users with later onset leading to higher increase, whereas the frequency of psychotic-like experiences was not associated with a change in cannabis use. The observed association between perceived stress and psychotic-like experiences at age 22 emphasizes the importance of stress experiences in developing psychosis independent of cannabis use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2021.01.002DOI Listing
February 2021

The Human Brain Is Best Described as Being on a Female/Male Continuum: Evidence from a Neuroimaging Connectivity Study.

Cereb Cortex 2021 05;31(6):3021-3033

Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Ministry of Education-Key Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience and Brain-Inspired Intelligence and Research and Research Institute of Intelligent Complex Systems, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, China.

Psychological androgyny has long been associated with greater cognitive flexibility, adaptive behavior, and better mental health, but whether a similar concept can be defined using neural features remains unknown. Using the neuroimaging data from 9620 participants, we found that global functional connectivity was stronger in the male brain before middle age but became weaker after that, when compared with the female brain, after systematic testing of potentially confounding effects. We defined a brain gender continuum by estimating the likelihood of an observed functional connectivity matrix to represent a male brain. We found that participants mapped at the center of this continuum had fewer internalizing symptoms compared with those at the 2 extreme ends. These findings suggest a novel hypothesis proposing that there exists a neuroimaging concept of androgyny using the brain gender continuum, which may be associated with better mental health in a similar way to psychological androgyny.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa408DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8107794PMC
May 2021

Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Very Preterm, Moderate-Late Preterm and Term-Born Neonates: A Systematic Review.

J Pediatr 2021 05 13;232:48-58.e3. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Cognitive Systems Group, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Objective: To examine white matter abnormalities, measured by diffusion tensor imaging, in very preterm (<32 weeks) and moderate-late preterm neonates (32-37 weeks) at term-equivalent age, compared with healthy full-term controls (≥37 weeks).

Study Design: A search of Medline (PubMed) was conducted to identify studies with diffusion data collected on very preterm, moderate-late preterm and full-term neonates, using the guidelines from the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology and PRISMA statements.

Results: Eleven studies were included with diffusion tensor imaging data from 554 very preterm, 575 moderate-late preterm, and 318 full-term neonates. Widespread statistically significant diffusion measures were found in all preterm subgroups at term-equivalent age compared with full-term neonates, and this difference was more marked for the very preterm group. These abnormalities are suggestive of changes in the white matter microstructure in the preterm groups. The corpus callosum was a region of interest in both early and moderate-late preterm groups, which showed statistically significant diffusion measures in all 11 studies.

Conclusions: Microstructural white matter changes may underpin the increased risk of neurodevelopmental disability seen in preterm infants in later life. diffusion tensor imaging may therefore be a useful prognostic tool for neuro-disability in preterm neonates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.01.008DOI Listing
May 2021

Functional Connectivity Predicts Individual Development of Inhibitory Control during Adolescence.

Cereb Cortex 2021 03;31(5):2686-2700

School of Psychology and Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Derailment of inhibitory control (IC) underlies numerous psychiatric and behavioral disorders, many of which emerge during adolescence. Identifying reliable predictive biomarkers that place the adolescents at elevated risk for future IC deficits can help guide early interventions, yet the scarcity of longitudinal research has hindered the progress. Here, using a large-scale longitudinal dataset in which the same subjects performed a stop signal task during functional magnetic resonance imaging at ages 14 and 19, we tracked their IC development individually and tried to find the brain features predicting their development by constructing prediction models using 14-year-olds' functional connections within a network or between a pair of networks. The participants had distinct between-subject trajectories in their IC development. Of the candidate connections used for prediction, ventral attention-subcortical network interconnections could predict the individual development of IC and formed a prediction model that generalized to previously unseen individuals. Furthermore, we found that connectivity between these two networks was related to substance abuse problems, an IC-deficit related problematic behavior, within 5 years. Our study reveals individual differences in IC development from mid- to late-adolescence and highlights the importance of ventral attention-subcortical network interconnections in predicting future IC development and substance abuse in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhaa383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8599716PMC
March 2021

Association of Genetic and Phenotypic Assessments With Onset of Disordered Eating Behaviors and Comorbid Mental Health Problems Among Adolescents.

JAMA Netw Open 2020 12 1;3(12):e2026874. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Section of Systems Neuroscience, Dresden, Germany.

Importance: Eating disorders are serious mental disorders with increasing prevalence. Without early identification and treatment, eating disorders may run a long-term course.

Objective: To characterize any associations among disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) and other mental health disorders and to identify early associations with the development of symptoms over time.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter, population-based, longitudinal cohort study used data from baseline (collected in 2010), follow-up 1 (collected in 2012), and follow-up 2 (collected in 2015) of the IMAGEN Study, which included adolescents recruited from 8 European sites. The present study assessed data from 1623 healthy adolescents, aged 14 years at baseline, recruited from high schools. Data analyses were performed from January 2018 to September 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Body mass index (BMI), mental health symptoms, substance use behaviors, and personality variables were investigated as time-varying associations of DEBs (dieting, binge eating, and purging) or change in BMI over time. Polygenic risk scores were calculated to investigate genetic contributions associated with BMI, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and neuroticism to DEBs.

Results: In this cohort study of 1623 adolescents (829 girls [51.1%]) recruited at a mean (SD) age of 14.5 (0.4) years and followed up at ages 16 and 19 years, 278 adolescents (17.1%) reported binge eating, 334 adolescents (20.6%) reported purging, and 356 adolescents (21.9%) reported dieting at 14, 16, or 19 years. Among the precursors of DEBs, high BMI was associated with future dieting (OR, 3.44; 95% CI, 2.09-5.65). High levels of neuroticism (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.06), conduct problems (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.17-1.69), and deliberate self-harm (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.37-3.45) were associated with future binge eating. Low agreeableness (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.97), deliberate self-harm (OR, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.69-3.95), conduct problems (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.20-1.68), alcohol misuse (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.10-1.54), and drug abuse (OR, 2.91; 95% CI, 1.78-4.74) were associated with future purging. Polygenetic risk scores for BMI were associated with dieting (at 14 years: OR, 1.27; lower bound 95% CI, 1.08; at 16 years: OR, 1.38; lower bound 95% CI, 1.17); ADHD, with purging (at 16 years: OR, 1.25; lower bound 95% CI, 1.08; at 19 years, OR, 1.23; lower bound 95% CI, 1.06); and neuroticism, with binge eating (at 14 years: OR, 1.32; lower bound 95% CI, 1.11; at 16 years: OR, 1.24; lower bound 95% CI, 1.06), highlighting distinct etiologic overlaps between these traits. The DEBs predated other mental health problems, with dieting at 14 years associated with future symptoms of depression (OR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.56-4.10), generalized anxiety (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.14-4.51), deliberate self-harm (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.51-4.24), emotional problems (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.08-1.43), and smoking (OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.36-3.48). Purging at 14 years was also associated with future depression (OR, 2.87; 95% CI, 1.69-5.01) and anxiety (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.49-4.12) symptoms.

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of this study delineate temporal associations and shared etiologies among DEBs and other mental health disorders and emphasize the potential of genetic and phenotypical assessments of obesity, behavioral disorders, and neuroticism to improve early and differential diagnosis of eating disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.26874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711322PMC
December 2020

Reward Versus Nonreward Sensitivity of the Medial Versus Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Relates to the Severity of Depressive Symptoms.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2021 03 10;6(3):259-269. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Background: The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is implicated in depression. The hypothesis investigated was whether the OFC sensitivity to reward and nonreward is related to the severity of depressive symptoms.

Methods: Activations in the monetary incentive delay task were measured in the IMAGEN cohort at ages 14 years (n = 1877) and 19 years (n = 1140) with a longitudinal design. Clinically relevant subgroups were compared at ages 19 (high-severity group: n = 116; low-severity group: n = 206) and 14.

Results: The medial OFC exhibited graded activation increases to reward, and the lateral OFC had graded activation increases to nonreward. In this general population, the medial and lateral OFC activations were associated with concurrent depressive symptoms at both ages 14 and 19 years. In a stratified high-severity depressive symptom group versus control group comparison, the lateral OFC showed greater sensitivity for the magnitudes of activations related to nonreward in the high-severity group at age 19 (p = .027), and the medial OFC showed decreased sensitivity to the reward magnitudes in the high-severity group at both ages 14 (p = .002) and 19 (p = .002). In a longitudinal design, there was greater sensitivity to nonreward of the lateral OFC at age 14 for those who exhibited high depressive symptom severity later at age 19 (p = .003).

Conclusions: Activations in the lateral OFC relate to sensitivity to not winning, were associated with high depressive symptom scores, and at age 14 predicted the depressive symptoms at ages 16 and 19. Activations in the medial OFC were related to sensitivity to winning, and reduced reward sensitivity was associated with concurrent high depressive symptom scores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.08.017DOI Listing
March 2021

Association between childhood trauma and risk for obesity: a putative neurocognitive developmental pathway.

BMC Med 2020 10 15;18(1):278. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience and Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433, People's Republic of China.

Background: Childhood trauma increases the risk for adult obesity through multiple complex pathways, and the neural substrates are yet to be determined.

Methods: Participants from three population-based neuroimaging cohorts, including the IMAGEN cohort, the UK Biobank (UKB), and the Human Connectome Project (HCP), were recruited. Voxel-based morphometry analysis of both childhood trauma and body mass index (BMI) was performed in the longitudinal IMAGEN cohort; validation of the findings was performed in the UKB. White-matter connectivity analysis was conducted to study the structural connectivity between the identified brain region and subdivisions of the hypothalamus in the HCP.

Results: In IMAGEN, a smaller frontopolar cortex (FPC) was associated with both childhood abuse (CA) (β = - .568, 95%CI - .942 to - .194; p = .003) and higher BMI (β = - .086, 95%CI - .128 to - .043; p < .001) in male participants, and these findings were validated in UKB. Across seven data collection sites, a stronger negative CA-FPC association was correlated with a higher positive CA-BMI association (β = - 1.033, 95%CI - 1.762 to - .305; p = .015). Using 7-T diffusion tensor imaging data (n = 156), we found that FPC was the third most connected cortical area with the hypothalamus, especially the lateral hypothalamus. A smaller FPC at age 14 contributed to higher BMI at age 19 in those male participants with a history of CA, and the CA-FPC interaction enabled a model at age 14 to account for some future weight gain during a 5-year follow-up (variance explained 5.8%).

Conclusions: The findings highlight that a malfunctioning, top-down cognitive or behavioral control system, independent of genetic predisposition, putatively contributes to excessive weight gain in a particularly vulnerable population, and may inform treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01743-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559717PMC
October 2020

Substance Use Initiation, Particularly Alcohol, in Drug-Naive Adolescents: Possible Predictors and Consequences From a Large Cohort Naturalistic Study.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2021 05 1;60(5):623-636. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.

Objective: It is unclear whether deviations in brain and behavioral development, which may underpin elevated substance use during adolescence, are predispositions for or consequences of substance use initiation. Here, we examine behavioral and neuroimaging indices at early and mid-adolescence in drug-naive youths to identify possible predisposing factors for substance use initiation and its possible consequences.

Method: Among 304 drug-naive adolescents at baseline (age 14 years) from the IMAGEN dataset, 83 stayed drug-naive, 133 used alcohol on 1 to 9 occasions, 42 on 10 to 19 occasions, 27 on 20 to 39 occasions, and 19 on >40 occasions at follow-up (age 16 years). Baseline measures included brain activation during the Monetary Incentive Delay task. Data at both baseline and follow-up included measures of trait impulsivity and delay discounting.

Results: From baseline to follow-up, impulsivity decreased in the 0 and 1- to 9-occasions groups (p < .004), did not change in the 10- to 19-occasions and 20- to 29-occasions groups (p > .294), and uncharacteristically increased in the >40-occasions group (p = .046). Furthermore, blunted medial orbitofrontal cortex activation during reward outcome at baseline significantly predicted higher alcohol use frequency at follow-up, above and beyond behavioral and clinical variables (p = .008).

Conclusion: These results suggest that the transition from no use to frequent drinking in early to mid-adolescence may disrupt normative developmental changes in behavioral control. In addition, blunted activity of the medial orbitofrontal cortex during reward outcome may underscore a predisposition toward the development of more severe alcohol use in adolescents. This distinction is clinically important, as it informs early intervention efforts in preventing the onset of substance use disorder in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2020.08.443DOI Listing
May 2021

Orbitofrontal cortex volume links polygenic risk for smoking with tobacco use in healthy adolescents.

Psychol Med 2020 Sep 3:1-8. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 95 East Zhongguancun Road, Beijing, 100190, China.

Background: Tobacco smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death and is heritable with complex underpinnings. Converging evidence suggests a contribution of the polygenic risk for smoking to the use of tobacco and other substances. Yet, the underlying brain mechanisms between the genetic risk and tobacco smoking remain poorly understood.

Methods: Genomic, neuroimaging, and self-report data were acquired from a large cohort of adolescents from the IMAGEN study (a European multicenter study). Polygenic risk scores (PGRS) for smoking were calculated based on a genome-wide association study meta-analysis conducted by the Tobacco and Genetics Consortium. We examined the interrelationships among the genetic risk for smoking initiation, brain structure, and the number of occasions of tobacco use.

Results: A higher smoking PGRS was significantly associated with both an increased number of occasions of tobacco use and smaller cortical volume of the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Furthermore, reduced cortical volume within this cluster correlated with greater tobacco use. A subsequent path analysis suggested that the cortical volume within this cluster partially mediated the association between the genetic risk for smoking and the number of occasions of tobacco use.

Conclusions: Our data provide the first evidence for the involvement of the OFC in the relationship between smoking PGRS and tobacco use. Future studies of the molecular mechanisms underlying tobacco smoking should consider the mediation effect of the related neural structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291720002962DOI Listing
September 2020

Neural Correlates of Adolescent Irritability and Its Comorbidity With Psychiatric Disorders.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2020 12 27;59(12):1371-1379. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, University of Vermont, Burlington.

Objective: Irritable mood, a common and impairing symptom in psychopathology, has been proposed to underlie the developmental link between oppositional problems in youth and depression in adulthood. We examined the neural correlates of adolescent irritability in IMAGEN, a sample of 2,024 14-year-old adolescents from 5 European countries.

Method: The Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) was used to assess attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Three items from the DAWBA, selected as close matches to the Affective Reactivity Index, were used to assess irritability. Structural magnetic resonance imaging was examined using whole-brain voxel-based morphometry analysis, and functional magnetic resonance imaging was examined during a stop signal task of inhibitory control. Imaging data were included in structural equation models to examine the direct and indirect associations between irritable mood and comorbid DSM diagnoses.

Results: Whole-brain voxelwise analysis showed that adolescent irritable mood was associated with less gray matter volume and less neural activation underlying inhibitory control in frontal and temporal cortical areas (cluster-correction at p < .05). Structural equation models suggested that part of the observed smaller gray matter volume was exclusively driven by irritability separate from direct relationships between generalized anxiety disorder (or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder) and gray matter volume.

Conclusion: This study identifies adolescent irritability as an independent construct and points to a neurobiological correlate to irritability that is an important contributing feature to many psychopathological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2019.11.028DOI Listing
December 2020

Brain structure and habitat: Do the brains of our children tell us where they have been brought up?

Neuroimage 2020 11 13;222:117225. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

Lise Meitner Group for Environmental Neuroscience, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.

Recently many lifestyle factors have been shown to be associated with brain structural alterations. At present we are facing increasing population shifts from rural to urban areas, which considerably change the living environments of human beings. To investigate the association between rural vs. urban upbringing and brain structure we selected 106 14-year old adolescents of whom half were exclusively raised in rural areas and the other half who exclusively lived in cities. Voxel-based morphometry revealed a group difference in left hippocampal formation (Rural > City), which was positively associated with cognitive performance in a spatial processing task. Moreover, significant group differences were observed in spatial processing (Rural > City). A mediation analysis revealed that hippocampal formation accounted for more than half of the association between upbringing and spatial processing. The results are compatible with studies reporting earlier and more intense opportunities for spatial exploration in children brought up in rural areas. The results are interesting in the light of urban planning where spaces enabling spatial exploration for children may deserve more attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117225DOI Listing
November 2020

Development of Disordered Eating Behaviors and Comorbid Depressive Symptoms in Adolescence: Neural and Psychopathological Predictors.

Biol Psychiatry 2021 Dec 10;90(12):853-862. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Background: Eating disorders are common in adolescence and are devastating and strongly comorbid with other psychiatric disorders. Yet little is known about their etiology, knowing which would aid in developing effective preventive measures.

Methods: Longitudinal assessments of disordered eating behaviors (DEBs)-binge-eating, purging, and dieting-and comorbid psychopathology were measured in 1386 adolescents from the IMAGEN study. Development of DEBs and associated mental health problems was investigated by comparing participants who reported symptoms at ages 16 or 19 years, but not at age 14 years, with asymptomatic control participants. Voxel-based morphometry and psychopathological differences at age 14 were investigated to identify risk factors for the development of DEBs and associated mental health problems.

Results: DEBs and depressive symptoms developed together. Emotional and behavioral problems, including symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder, predated their development. Alterations in frontostriatal brain areas also predated the development of DEBs and depressive symptoms. Specifically, development of binge-eating was predicted by higher gray matter volumes in the right putamen/globus pallidus at age 14. Conversely, development of purging and depressive symptoms was predicted by lower volumes in the medial orbitofrontal, dorsomedial, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. Lower gray matter volumes in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices mediated the relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder symptoms and future purging and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that alterations in frontal brain circuits are part of the shared etiology among eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and depression and highlight the importance of a transdiagnostic approach to treating these conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.06.003DOI Listing
December 2021

Longitudinal associations between amygdala reactivity and cannabis use in a large sample of adolescents.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2020 Nov 8;237(11):3447-3458. Epub 2020 Aug 8.

Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 05401, USA.

Rationale: The amygdala is a key brain structure to study in relation to cannabis use as reflected by its high-density of cannabinoid receptors and functional reactivity to processes relevant to drug use. Previously, we identified a correlation between cannabis use in early adolescence and amygdala hyper-reactivity to angry faces (Spechler et al. 2015).

Objectives: Here, we leveraged the longitudinal aspect of the same dataset (the IMAGEN study) to determine (1) if amygdala hyper-reactivity predicts future cannabis use and (2) if amygdala reactivity is affected by prolonged cannabis exposure during adolescence.

Methods: First, linear regressions predicted the level of cannabis use by age 19 using amygdala reactivity to angry faces measured at age 14 prior to cannabis exposure in a sample of 1119 participants. Next, we evaluated the time course of amygdala functional development from age 14 to 19 for angry face processing and how it might be associated with protracted cannabis use throughout this developmental window. We compared the sample from Spechler et al. 2015, the majority of whom escalated their use over the 5-year interval, to a matched sample of non-users.

Results: Right amygdala reactivity to angry faces significantly predicted cannabis use 5 years later in a dose-response fashion. Cannabis-naïve adolescents demonstrated the lowest levels of amygdala reactivity. No such predictive relationship was identified for alcohol or cigarette use. Next, follow-up analyses indicated a significant group-by-time interaction for the right amygdala.

Conclusions: (1) Right amygdala hyper-reactivity is predictive of future cannabis use, and (2) protracted cannabis exposure during adolescence may alter the rate of neurotypical functional development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05624-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7572697PMC
November 2020

The IMAGEN study: a decade of imaging genetics in adolescents.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 11 29;25(11):2648-2671. Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany.

Imaging genetics offers the possibility of detecting associations between genotype and brain structure as well as function, with effect sizes potentially exceeding correlations between genotype and behavior. However, study results are often limited due to small sample sizes and methodological differences, thus reducing the reliability of findings. The IMAGEN cohort with 2000 young adolescents assessed from the age of 14 onwards tries to eliminate some of these limitations by offering a longitudinal approach and sufficient sample size for analyzing gene-environment interactions on brain structure and function. Here, we give a systematic review of IMAGEN publications since the start of the consortium. We then focus on the specific phenotype 'drug use' to illustrate the potential of the IMAGEN approach. We describe findings with respect to frontocortical, limbic and striatal brain volume, functional activation elicited by reward anticipation, behavioral inhibition, and affective faces, and their respective associations with drug intake. In addition to describing its strengths, we also discuss limitations of the IMAGEN study. Because of the longitudinal design and related attrition, analyses are underpowered for (epi-) genome-wide approaches due to the limited sample size. Estimating the generalizability of results requires replications in independent samples. However, such densely phenotyped longitudinal studies are still rare and alternative internal cross-validation methods (e.g., leave-one out, split-half) are also warranted. In conclusion, the IMAGEN cohort is a unique, very well characterized longitudinal sample, which helped to elucidate neurobiological mechanisms involved in complex behavior and offers the possibility to further disentangle genotype × phenotype interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-0822-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577859PMC
November 2020
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