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Cortical Thickness Trajectories across the Lifespan: Data from 17,075 healthy individuals aged 3-90 years

By Sophia Frangou, Amirhossein Modabbernia, Gaelle E Doucet, Efstathios Papachristou, Steven CR Williams, Ingrid Agartz, Moji Aghajani, Theophilus N Akudjedu, Anton Albajes-Eizagirre, Dag Alnæs, Kathryn I Alpert, Micael Andersson, Nancy Andreasen, Ole A. Andreassen, P. Asherson, Tobias Banaschewski, Nuria Bargallo, Sarah Baumeister, Ramona Baur-Streubel, Alessandro Bertolino, Aurora Bonvino, Dorret I. Boomsma, Stefan Borgwardt, Josiane Bourque, Daniel Brandeis, Alan Breier, Henry Brodaty, Rachel M Brouwer, J.K. Buitelaar, Geraldo F Busatto, Randy L. Buckner, Vincent Calhoun, Erick J Canales-Rodríguez, Dara M. Cannon, Xavier Caseras, Francisco X. Castellanos, Simon Cervenka, Tiffany M Chaim-Avancini, Christopher RK Ching, Vincent P Clark, Patricia Conrod, Annette Conzelmann, Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, Fabrice Crivello, Eveline AM Crone, Anders M. Dale, Cristopher Davey, Eco J.C.N. de Geus, Lieuwe de Haan, Greig I. de Zubicaray, Anouk den Braber, Erin W. Dickie, Annabella Di Giorgio, Nhat Trung Doan, Erlend S. Dørum, Stefan Ehrlich, Susanne Erk, Thomas Espeseth, Helena Fatouros-Bergman, Simon E Fisher, Jean-Paul Fouche, Barbara Franke, Thomas Frodl, Paola Fuentes-Claramonte, David C. Glahn, Ian H. Gotlib, Hans-Jörgen Grabe, Oliver Grimm, Nynke A. Groenewold, Dominik Grotegerd, Oliver Gruber, Patricia Gruner, Rachel E Gur, Ruben C. Gur, Ben J Harrison, Catharine A. Hartman, Sean N Hatton, Andreas Heinz, Dirk J. Heslenfeld, Derrek P. Hibar, Ian B Hickie, Beng-Choon Ho, Pieter J Hoekstra, Sarah Hohmann, Avram J. Holmes, Martine Hoogman, Norbert Hosten, Fleur M Howells, Hilleke E Hulshoff Pol, Chaim Huyser, Neda Jahanshad, Anthony James, Jiyang Jiang, Erik G. Jönsson, John A Joska, Rene Kahn, Andrew Kalnin, Ryota Kanai, Sim Kang, Marieke Klein, Tatyana P Klushnik, Laura Koenders, Sanne Koops, Bernd Krämer, J. Kuntsi, Jim Lagopoulos, Luisa Lázaro, Irina Lebedeva, Won Hee Lee, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Christine Lochner, Marise WJ Machielsen, Sophie Maingault, Nicholas G. Martin, Ignacio Martínez-Zalacaín, David Mataix-Cols, Bernard Mazoyer, Colm McDonald, Brenna C McDonald, Andrew M. McIntosh, Katie L. McMahon, Genevieve McPhilemy, José M Menchón, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Jilly Naaijen, Pablo Najt, Tomohiro Nakao, Jan E. Nordvik, Lars Nyberg, Jaap Oosterlaan, Víctor Ortiz-García de la Foz, Yannis Paloyelis, Paul Pauli, Giulio Pergola, Edith Pomarol-Clotet, Maria J Portella, Steven G Potkin, Joaquim Radua, Andreas Reif, Joshua L. Roffman, Pedro G.P. Rosa, Matthew D. Sacchet, Perminder S Sachdev, Raymond Salvador, Pascual Sánchez-Juan, Salvador Sarró, Theodore D. Satterthwaite, Andrew J. Saykin, Mauricio H. Serpa, Lianne Schmaal, Knut Schnell, Gunter Schumann, Jordan W. Smoller, Iris Sommer, Carles Soriano-Mas, Dan J Stein, Lachlan T Strike, Suzanne C Swagerman, Christian K. Tamnes, Henk S Temmingh, Sophia I Thomopoulos, Alexander S Tomyshev, Diana Tordesillas-Gutiérrez, Julian N. Trollor, Jessica A. Turner, Anne Uhlmann, Odille A van den Heuvel, Dennis van den Meer, Nic JA van der Wee, Neeltje E.M. van Haren, Dennis van ’t Ent, Theo G.M. van Erp, Ilya M. Veer, Dick J Veltman, Henry Völzke, Henrik Walter, Esther Walton, Lei Wang, Yang Wang, Thomas H. Wassink, B. Weber, Wei Wen, John D West, Lars T. Westlye, Heather C. Whalley, Lara M Wierenga, Katharina Wittfeld, Daniel H Wolf, Margaret J Wright, Kun Yang, Yulyia Yoncheva, Marcus V. Zanetti, Georg C. Ziegler, Paul M Thompson, Danai Dima

Posted 07 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.05.077834

Delineating age-related cortical trajectories in healthy individuals is critical given the association of cortical thickness with cognition and behaviour. Previous research has shown that deriving robust estimates of age-related brain morphometric changes requires large-scale studies. In response, we conducted a large-scale analysis of cortical thickness in 17,075 individuals aged 3-90 years by pooling data through the Lifespan Working group of the Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium. We used fractional polynomial (FP) regression to characterize age-related trajectories in cortical thickness, and we computed normalized growth centiles using the parametric Lambda, Mu, and Sigma (LMS) method. Inter-individual variability was estimated using meta-analysis and one-way analysis of variance. Overall, cortical thickness peaked in childhood and had a steep decrease during the first 2-3 decades of life; thereafter, it showed a gradual monotonic decrease which was steeper in men than in women particularly in middle-life. Notable exceptions to this general pattern were entorhinal, temporopolar and anterior cingulate cortices. Inter-individual variability was largest in temporal and frontal regions across the lifespan. Age and its FP combinations explained up to 59% variance in cortical thickness. These results reconcile uncertainties about age-related trajectories of cortical thickness; the centile values provide estimates of normative variance in cortical thickness, and may assist in detecting abnormal deviations in cortical thickness, and associated behavioural, cognitive and clinical outcomes. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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