This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the Center, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. This group is interested in characterizing neuromorphometric differences in specific prefrontal limbic circuit structures in individuals with early onset major depression. Specifically we are studying an epidemiologically ascertained sample of adolescent female twins with early onset affective disorders and a comparison control twin group. The investigation of a twin population allows us to make direct estimates of genetic and environmental contributions to specific regional structural changes.
The specific aims of this project all involve characterization and quantification of specific cortical and subcortical regions.
Aim 1 is to quantify differences in prefrontal limbic morphometry in subjects with depression in comparison to at risk and control subjects. We are interested in characterizing both specific medial and orbital frontal regions along with subcortical structures such as the hippocampus and basal ganglia.
Aim 2 proposes to characterize neurodevelopme ntal or ne urodegenerative patterns of change in regional neuromorphometry using prospective longitudinal data.
Aim 3 estimates genetic and environmental contributions to the quantified structural changes and Aim 4 specifically proposed to integrate newer image analysis methods to characterize brain structural changes associated with early onset depression. Thus all specific aims are closely correlated with the goals of TRD4. For example, volume, surface and curve matching algorithms (TRD4-Aims 1&2) will enable us to compare prefrontal gyrus and amygdala cortical surfaces from a very large population data set and yield metrics which can be used in our epidemiological and longitudinal analysis of major depression disorders. Progress: 10 Medial PreFrontal gyri have been segmented and annotated, both by hand and automatically. Validations have been carried out demonstrating the validity of both the hand segmentations and the surface generation. Error rates between hand segmentations and auto-segme ntations are on the order of 5-10%. As well, surface generation indicates accuracies on the order of 0.25-.5 mm when compared to hand contouring.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-K (40))
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Hugo W. Moser Research Institute Kennedy Krieger
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