White Matter Microstructure in Youths with Conduct Disorder: Effects of Sex and Variation in Callous Traits

Rogers, Jack C. and Gonzalez-Madruga, Karen and Kohls, Gregor and Baker, Rosalind H. and Clanton, Roberta L. and Pauli, Ruth and Birch, Philippa and Chowdhury, Alimul I. and Kirchner, Marietta and Andersson, Jesper L. R. and Smaragdi, Areti and Puzzo, Ignazio and Baumann, Sarah and Raschle, Nora M. and Fehlbaum, Lynn V. and Menks, Willeke M. and Stadler, Christina and Konrad, Kerstin and Freitag, Christine M. and Fairchild, Graeme and De Brito, Stéphane 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 & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58 (12). pp. 1184-1196. ISSN 0890-8567

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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.
Methods: DTI-data were acquired from 124 youths with CD (59 female) and 174 typically-developing (TD) youths (103 female) aged 9-18 years. 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. Females and males with CD exhibited opposite changes 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.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2019.02.019
3 January 2019Accepted
25 April 2019Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: conduct disorder, callous-unemotional traits, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), sex differences, FemNAT-CD
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Silvio Aldrovandi
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 15:32
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:42
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7165

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