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Author Notes:

Lin Y. Chen, MD, MS, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware St SE, MMC 508, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E‐mail: chenx484@umn.edu

None of the authors has a relevant conflict of interest to disclose.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


Research Funding:

This work was performed in conjunction with the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD), which is funded by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Additional information about CIFASD can be found at www.cifasd.org

This study was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): (U01AA017122 [PI: ERS], U01AA14834 [PI: SNM], U01AA026102 [PI: JRW], U24AA014811 [EPR], U24AA014815 [PI: KLJ], U24AA014818 [PI: Barnett]), and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.


  • Social Sciences
  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Psychology, Developmental
  • Neurosciences
  • Psychology
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
  • Longitudinal MRI
  • Neuropsychology
  • Pediatric

Two-year cortical trajectories are abnormal in children and adolescents with prenatal alcohol exposure

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Journal Title:

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience


Volume 30


, Pages 123-133

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Cortical abnormalities in prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) are known, including in gyrification (LGI), thickness (CT), volume (CV), and surface area (CS). This study provides longitudinal and developmental context to the PAE cortical development literature. Experimental design: Included: 58 children with PAE and 52 controls, ages 6–17 at enrollment, from four Collaborative Initiative on FASD (CIFASD) sites. Participants underwent a formal evaluation of physical anomalies and dysmorphic facial features associated with PAE. MRI data were collected on three platforms (Siemens, GE, and Philips) at four sites. Scans were spaced two years apart. Change in LGI, CT, CS, and CV were examined. Principal observations: Several significant regional age-by-diagnosis linear and quadratic interaction effects in LGI, CT, and CV were found, indicating atypical developmental trajectories in PAE. No significant correlations were observed between cortical measures and IQ. Conclusions: Regional differences were seen longitudinally in CT, CV, and LGI in those with PAE. The findings represent important insights into developmental trajectories and may have implications for the timing of assessments and interventions in this population. It is noteworthy that cortical metrics did not correlate with IQ, suggesting that more specific aspects of cognitive development may need to be explored to provide further context.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Authors

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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