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Testing relationships between multimodal modes of brain structural variation and age, sex and polygenic scores for neuroticism in children and adolescents

By Linn B. Norbom, Jaroslav Rokicki, Dennis van der Meer, Dag Alnaes, Nhat Trung Doan, Torgeir Moberget, Tobias Kaufmann, Ole A Andreassen, Lars T. Westlye, Christian K. Tamnes

Posted 20 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.20.883959 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41398-020-00931-1)

Human brain development involves spatially and temporally heterogeneous changes, detectable across a wide range of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures. Investigating the interplay between multimodal MRI and polygenic scores (PGS) for personality traits associated with mental disorders in youth may provide new knowledge about typical and atypical neurodevelopment. We derived independent components across cortical thickness, cortical surface area, and gray/white matter contrast (GWC) (n=2596, 3-23 years), and tested for associations between these components and age, sex and-, in a subsample (n=878), PGS for neuroticism. Age was negatively associated with a single-modality component reflecting higher global GWC, and additionally with components capturing common variance between global thickness and GWC, and several multimodal regional patterns. Sex differences were found for components primarily capturing global and regional surface area (boys>girls), but also regional cortical thickness. For PGS for neuroticism, we found weak and bidirectional associations with a component reflecting right prefrontal surface area. These results indicate that multimodal fusion is sensitive to age and sex differences in brain structure in youth, but only weakly to polygenic load for neuroticism. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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