Atypical developmental trajectory of functionally significant cortical areas in children with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

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Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a neurogenetic disorder associated with neurocognitive impairments. This article focuses on the cortical gyrification changes that are associated with the genetic disorder in 6–15-year-old children with 22q11.2DS, when compared with a group of age-matched typically developing (TD) children. Local gyrification index (lGI; Schaer et al. [2008]: IEEE Trans Med Imaging 27:161–170) was used to characterize the cortical gyrification at each vertex of the pial surface. Vertex-wise statistical analysis of lGI differences between the two groups revealed cortical areas of significant reduction in cortical gyrification in children with 22q11.2DS, which were mainly distributed along the medial aspect of each hemisphere. To gain further insight into the developmental trajectory of the cortical gyrification, we examined age as a factor in lGI changes over the 6–15 years of development, within and across the two groups of children. Our primary results pertaining to the developmental trajectory of cortical gyrification revealed cortical regions where the change in lGI over the 6–15 years of age was significantly modulated by diagnosis, implying an atypical development of cortical gyrification in children with 22q11.2DS, when compared with the TD children. Significantly, these cortical areas included parietal structures that are associated, in typical individuals, with visuospatial, attentional, and numerical cognition tasks in which children with 22q11.2DS show impairments. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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