4 research outputs found

    Atypical developmental trajectories of white matter microstructure in prenatal alcohol exposure: Preliminary evidence from neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging

    Get PDF
    IntroductionFetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a life-long condition resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE), is associated with structural brain anomalies and neurobehavioral differences. Evidence from longitudinal neuroimaging suggest trajectories of white matter microstructure maturation are atypical in PAE. We aimed to further characterize longitudinal trajectories of developmental white matter microstructure change in children and adolescents with PAE compared to typically-developing Controls using diffusion-weighted Neurite Orientation Dispersion and Density Imaging (NODDI).Materials and methodsParticipants: Youth with PAE (n = 34) and typically-developing Controls (n = 31) ages 8–17 years at enrollment. Participants underwent formal evaluation of growth and facial dysmorphology. Participants also completed two study visits (17 months apart on average), both of which involved cognitive testing and an MRI scan (data collected on a Siemens Prisma 3 T scanner). Age-related changes in the orientation dispersion index (ODI) and the neurite density index (NDI) were examined across five corpus callosum (CC) regions defined by tractography.ResultsWhile linear trajectories suggested similar overall microstructural integrity in PAE and Controls, analyses of symmetrized percent change (SPC) indicated group differences in the timing and magnitude of age-related increases in ODI (indexing the bending and fanning of axons) in the central region of the CC, with PAE participants demonstrating atypically steep increases in dispersion with age compared to Controls. Participants with PAE also demonstrated greater increases in ODI in the mid posterior CC (trend-level group difference). In addition, SPC in ODI and NDI was differentially correlated with executive function performance for PAE participants and Controls, suggesting an atypical relationship between white matter microstructure maturation and cognitive function in PAE.DiscussionPreliminary findings suggest subtle atypicality in the timing and magnitude of age-related white matter microstructure maturation in PAE compared to typically-developing Controls. These findings add to the existing literature on neurodevelopmental trajectories in PAE and suggest that advanced biophysical diffusion modeling (NODDI) may be sensitive to biologically-meaningful microstructural changes in the CC that are disrupted by PAE. Findings of atypical brain maturation-behavior relationships in PAE highlight the need for further study. Further longitudinal research aimed at characterizing white matter neurodevelopmental trajectories in PAE will be important

    Early delay of gratification predicts later inhibitory control and academic performance in children with prenatal alcohol exposure

    No full text
    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) affects 2–5% of the children in the United States. In the preschool age-range, inhibitory deficits frequently manifest as impaired ability to delay gratification, which is associated with deficits in cognitive flexibility in these children. The goal of this longitudinal study was to determine whether the ability to delay gratification in preschool children with FASD is (1) associated with broader manifestations in temperament and behavior; (2) predictive of later inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and working memory in middle childhood; and (3) predictive of later parent-reported behavioral problems and school functioning in middle childhood. Forty-seven children with FASD, ages 2.5–5 years were administered a delay of gratification task in which they chose between receiving 2 snacks immediately or 10 snacks after waiting for 10 min. Two groups were defined based on a median split of waiting time. Four years later, 29 children completed measures of inhibitory control (Flanker task), cognitive flexibility (Dimensional Change Card Sort Test), and working memory (Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales), and their parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist as a measure of the child’s behavioral problems and school functioning. Children with longer wait times on the delay of gratification task in preschool showed better inhibitory control on the Flanker task in middle childhood and better parent-reported school functioning in English. These findings indicate that early inhibitory capacity persists into middle childhood in those with FASD, and may be a promising target for early intervention to improve later cognitive outcomes in these children

    Executive and Social Functioning Across Development in Children and Adolescents With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

    No full text
    Background: Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is linked to a variety of neurodevelopmental challenges, including social functioning (SF) and executive functioning (EF) deficits. These deficits present differently across developmental stages from preschool age to adolescence. Methods: The post hoc analyses described here were conducted on data from 83 preschool-age children with PAE (early childhood group; ages 2.5 to 5.0) and 95 adolescents (49 with PAE, 46 controls; ages 8 to 16). Each child completed EF tasks as part of several prior studies. Parents completed social and communication inventories about their child’s abilities. Thirty-three participants from the early childhood group returned for a 4-year follow-up and completed both SF and EF measures. Results: Both the early childhood and adolescent groups with PAE showed deficits in SF and EF. There was a relationship between SF and EF within the adolescent PAE group that was not present in the adolescent control group or the early childhood PAE group. However, at the 4-year follow-up (Mage = 8.45), participants originally in the early childhood PAE group also demonstrated this relationship. Conclusions: These findings support previous research on EF/SF deficits in adolescents with PAE while also addressing a gap in the literature concerning early childhood research on this topic. Additionally, these findings suggest that the relationship between EF and SF deficits may strengthen throughout development. This line of research highlights potential sensitive periods for SF and EF training in children with PAE and suggests that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders programs consider targeting EF training as a component of social skill interventions

    Executive and Social Functioning Across Development in Children and Adolescents With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

    No full text
    BACKGROUND: Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is linked to a variety of neurodevelopmental challenges, including social functioning (SF) and executive functioning (EF) deficits. These deficits present differently across developmental stages from preschool age to adolescence. METHOD: The post-hoc analyses described here analyzed data from eighty-three preschool-age children with PAE (early childhood group; ages 2.5–5.0) and ninety-five adolescents (49 with PAE, 46 controls; ages 8–16). Each child completed EF tasks as part of several prior studies. Children’s parents completed social and communication inventories about their child’s abilities. Thirty-three participants from the early childhood group returned for a four-year follow-up and completed both SF and EF measures. RESULTS: Both the early childhood and adolescent groups with PAE showed deficits in SF and EF. There was a relationship between SF and EF within the adolescent PAE group that was not present in the adolescent control group or the early childhood PAE group. However, at the four-year follow-up (M(age)= 8.45), those originally in the early childhood PAE group also demonstrated this relationship. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support previous research on EF/SF deficits in adolescents with PAE while also addressing a gap in the literature concerning early childhood research on this topic. Additionally, these findings suggest that the relationship between EF and SF deficits may strengthen throughout development. This line of research may highlight sensitive periods for SF and EF training in children with PAE and may suggest that FASD programs consider targeting EF training as a component in social skill interventions
    corecore