Many neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood may reflect subtle deviations in brain development. By acquiring and analyzing MRI images from several clinical groups and healthy controls in an identical fashion we have been able to address important issues of specificity. In the process of providing valid control subjects we have acquired one of the world's largest cerebral MRI data sets of well-screened healthy children and adolescents. The enormous variability of brain structure size highlights the need for large samples and longitudinal study designs, which are underway. Sexually dimorphic patterns of normal brain development may shed light on sex differences in age of onset, prevalence, and symptomatology noted in most childhood neuropsychiatric disorders. For instance, the relatively larger size of the caudate nucleus in females may be related to the male-greater-than-female prevalence of ADHD and Tourette's disorder, which are both associated with decreased basal ganglia size. The smaller gray matter volume in patients with Kleinfelter's Syndrome (XXY) suggests a role of the X chromosome in brain cortical development. Our new image analysis technique now allows us to segment white matter, gray matter, and cerebral spinal fluid on brain MR images and reveals a robust increase with age in white matter, but not gray matter, for our age range of 4 to 18 years. A collaboration with the Montreal Neuropsychiatric Institute to automate quanitifcation of several brain structures and cortical regions is underway. A collaboration with UCLA is permitting detailed anatomic mapping of cortical development.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Intramural Research (Z01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
U.S. National Institute of Mental Health
United States
Zip Code
Keller, Audrey; Jeffries, Neal O; Blumenthal, Jonathan et al. (2003) Corpus callosum development in childhood-onset schizophrenia. Schizophr Res 62:105-14
Gogtay, Nitin; Sporn, Alexandra; Clasen, Liv S et al. (2003) Structural brain MRI abnormalities in healthy siblings of patients with childhood-onset schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 160:569-71
Chung, Moo K; Worsley, Keith J; Robbins, Steve et al. (2003) Deformation-based surface morphometry applied to gray matter deformation. Neuroimage 18:198-213
Keller, Audrey; Castellanos, F Xavier; Vaituzis, A Catherine et al. (2003) Progressive loss of cerebellar volume in childhood-onset schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 160:128-33
Castellanos, F Xavier; Sharp, Wendy S; Gottesman, Rebecca F et al. (2003) Anatomic brain abnormalities in monozygotic twins discordant for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Am J Psychiatry 160:1693-6
Merke, Deborah P; Fields, Jeremy D; Keil, Margaret F et al. (2003) Children with classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia have decreased amygdala volume: potential prenatal and postnatal hormonal effects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 88:1760-5
Eckert, Mark A; Leonard, Christiana M; Molloy, Elizabeth A et al. (2002) The epigenesis of planum temporale asymmetry in twins. Cereb Cortex 12:749-55
Castellanos, F Xavier; Lee, Patti P; Sharp, Wendy et al. (2002) Developmental trajectories of brain volume abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. JAMA 288:1740-8
Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay; Rapoport, Judith L (2002) Brain development in healthy, hyperactive, and psychotic children. Arch Neurol 59:1244-8
Nicolson, R; Lenane, M; Brookner, F et al. (2001) Children and adolescents with psychotic disorder not otherwise specified: a 2- to 8-year follow-up study. Compr Psychiatry 42:319-25

Showing the most recent 10 out of 16 publications