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White matter microstructure in youths with conduct disorder: effects of sex and variation in callous traits

White matter microstructure in youths with conduct disorder: effects of sex and variation in callous traits
White matter microstructure in youths with conduct disorder: effects of sex and variation in callous traits

Objective: studies using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter (WM) microstructure in youths with conduct disorder (CD) have reported disparate findings. We investigated WM alterations in a large sample of youths with CD, and examined the influence of sex and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. 

Method: DTI data were acquired from 124 youths with CD (59 female) and 174 typically developing (TD) youths (103 female) 9 to 18 years of age. Tract-based spatial statistics tested for effects of diagnosis and sex-by-diagnosis interactions. Associations with CD symptoms, CU traits, a task measuring impulsivity, and the impact of comorbidity, and age- and puberty-related effects were examined. 

Results: youths with CD exhibited higher axial diffusivity in the corpus callosum and lower radial diffusivity and mean diffusivity in the anterior thalamic radiation relative to TD youths. Female and male youths with CD exhibited opposite changes in the left hemisphere within the internal capsule, fornix, posterior thalamic radiation, and uncinate fasciculus. Within the CD group, CD symptoms and callous traits exerted opposing influences on corpus callosum axial diffusivity, with callous traits identified as the unique clinical feature predicting higher axial diffusivity and lower radial diffusivity within the corpus callosum and anterior thalamic radiation, respectively. In an exploratory analysis, corpus callosum axial diffusivity partially mediated the association between callous traits and impulsive responses to emotional faces. Results were not influenced by symptoms of comorbid disorders, and no age- or puberty-related interactions were observed. 

Conclusion: WM alterations within the corpus callosum represent a reliable neuroimaging marker of CD. Sex and callous traits are important factors to consider when examining WM in CD.

callous-unemotional traits, conduct disorder, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), FemNAT-CD, sex differences
0890-8567
Rogers, Jack C.
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Gonzalez-Madruga, Karen
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Kohls, Gregor
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Baker, Rosalind H.
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Clanton, Roberta L.
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Pauli, Ruth
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Birch, Philippa
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Chowdhury, Alimul I.
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Kirchner, Marietta
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Andersson, Jesper L.R.
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Smaragdi, Areti
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Puzzo, Ignazio
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Baumann, Sarah
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Raschle, Nora M.
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Fehlbaum, Lynn V.
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Menks, Willeke M.
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Steppan, Martin
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Stadler, Christina
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Konrad, Kerstin
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Freitag, Christine M.
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Fairchild, Graeme
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De Brito, Stephane A.
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Rogers, Jack C.
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Gonzalez-Madruga, Karen
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Kohls, Gregor
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Baker, Rosalind H.
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Clanton, Roberta L.
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Pauli, Ruth
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Birch, Philippa
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Chowdhury, Alimul I.
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Kirchner, Marietta
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Andersson, Jesper L.R.
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Smaragdi, Areti
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Puzzo, Ignazio
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Baumann, Sarah
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Raschle, Nora M.
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Fehlbaum, Lynn V.
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Menks, Willeke M.
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Steppan, Martin
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Stadler, Christina
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Konrad, Kerstin
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Freitag, Christine M.
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Fairchild, Graeme
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De Brito, Stephane A.
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Rogers, Jack C., Gonzalez-Madruga, Karen, Kohls, Gregor, Baker, Rosalind H., Clanton, Roberta L., Pauli, Ruth, Birch, Philippa, Chowdhury, Alimul I., Kirchner, Marietta, Andersson, Jesper L.R., Smaragdi, Areti, Puzzo, Ignazio, Baumann, Sarah, Raschle, Nora M., Fehlbaum, Lynn V., Menks, Willeke M., Steppan, Martin, Stadler, Christina, Konrad, Kerstin, Freitag, Christine M., Fairchild, Graeme and De Brito, Stephane A. (2019) White matter microstructure in youths with conduct disorder: effects of sex and variation in callous traits. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2019.02.019).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: studies using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate white matter (WM) microstructure in youths with conduct disorder (CD) have reported disparate findings. We investigated WM alterations in a large sample of youths with CD, and examined the influence of sex and callous-unemotional (CU) traits. 

Method: DTI data were acquired from 124 youths with CD (59 female) and 174 typically developing (TD) youths (103 female) 9 to 18 years of age. Tract-based spatial statistics tested for effects of diagnosis and sex-by-diagnosis interactions. Associations with CD symptoms, CU traits, a task measuring impulsivity, and the impact of comorbidity, and age- and puberty-related effects were examined. 

Results: youths with CD exhibited higher axial diffusivity in the corpus callosum and lower radial diffusivity and mean diffusivity in the anterior thalamic radiation relative to TD youths. Female and male youths with CD exhibited opposite changes in the left hemisphere within the internal capsule, fornix, posterior thalamic radiation, and uncinate fasciculus. Within the CD group, CD symptoms and callous traits exerted opposing influences on corpus callosum axial diffusivity, with callous traits identified as the unique clinical feature predicting higher axial diffusivity and lower radial diffusivity within the corpus callosum and anterior thalamic radiation, respectively. In an exploratory analysis, corpus callosum axial diffusivity partially mediated the association between callous traits and impulsive responses to emotional faces. Results were not influenced by symptoms of comorbid disorders, and no age- or puberty-related interactions were observed. 

Conclusion: WM alterations within the corpus callosum represent a reliable neuroimaging marker of CD. Sex and callous traits are important factors to consider when examining WM in CD.

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 April 2019
Keywords: callous-unemotional traits, conduct disorder, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), FemNAT-CD, sex differences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432235
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432235
ISSN: 0890-8567
PURE UUID: 28f837f8-85f0-4e88-91a7-1ee2be96df0f
ORCID for Graeme Fairchild: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7814-9938

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 16 Feb 2021 17:37

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Contributors

Author: Jack C. Rogers
Author: Karen Gonzalez-Madruga
Author: Gregor Kohls
Author: Rosalind H. Baker
Author: Roberta L. Clanton
Author: Ruth Pauli
Author: Philippa Birch
Author: Alimul I. Chowdhury
Author: Marietta Kirchner
Author: Jesper L.R. Andersson
Author: Areti Smaragdi
Author: Ignazio Puzzo
Author: Sarah Baumann
Author: Nora M. Raschle
Author: Lynn V. Fehlbaum
Author: Willeke M. Menks
Author: Martin Steppan
Author: Christina Stadler
Author: Kerstin Konrad
Author: Christine M. Freitag
Author: Graeme Fairchild ORCID iD
Author: Stephane A. De Brito

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