Investigating Sexual Dimorphism of Human White Matter in a Harmonized, Multisite Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.

Seitz, Johanna; Cetin-Karayumak, Suheyla; Lyall, Amanda; Pasternak, Ofer; Baxi, Madhura; Vangel, Mark; Pearlson, Godfrey; Tamminga, Carol; Sweeney, John; Clementz, Brett; Schretlen, David; Viher, Petra Verena; Stegmayer, Katharina; Walther, Sebastian; Lee, Jungsun; Crow, Tim; James, Anthony; Voineskos, Aristotle; Buchanan, Robert W; Szeszko, Philip R; ... (2020). Investigating Sexual Dimorphism of Human White Matter in a Harmonized, Multisite Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study. (In Press). Cerebral cortex Oxford University Press 10.1093/cercor/bhaa220

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Axonal myelination and repair, critical processes for brain development, maturation, and aging, remain controlled by sexual hormones. Whether this influence is reflected in structural brain differences between sexes, and whether it can be quantified by neuroimaging, remains controversial. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) is an in vivo method that can track myelination changes throughout the lifespan. We utilize a large, multisite sample of harmonized dMRI data (n = 551, age = 9-65 years, 46% females/54% males) to investigate the influence of sex on white matter (WM) structure. We model lifespan trajectories of WM using the most common dMRI measure fractional anisotropy (FA). Next, we examine the influence of both age and sex on FA variability. We estimate the overlap between male and female FA and test whether it is possible to label individual brains as male or female. Our results demonstrate regionally and spatially specific effects of sex. Sex differences are limited to limbic structures and young ages. Additionally, not only do sex differences diminish with age, but tracts within each subject become more similar to one another. Last, we show the high overlap in FA between sexes, which implies that determining sex based on WM remains open.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

UniBE Contributor:

Stegmayer, Katharina Deborah Lena and Walther, Sebastian

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1047-3211

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Funders:

[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sebastian Walther

Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2020 15:38

Last Modified:

28 Aug 2020 16:12

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/cercor/bhaa220

PubMed ID:

32851404

Uncontrolled Keywords:

connectivity diffusion-weighted MRI female fractional anisotropy male

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146201

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146201

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