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The complex sulco-gyral pattern results from fetal and early childhood processes that shape the cortex anatomy from a smooth lissencephalic structure to a highly convoluted surface. Abnormal brain maturation has been suggested as risk factor for schizophrenia. Thus, measures of the cortical folding pattern could provide cues for the neurodevelopmental aspects of pathopsychology.
Brain morphometry softwares providing 3D sulci descriptors (e.g. surface) from MRI (Mangin, 2004 ; Cachia, 2007). This automatized method avoids biases inherent to image normalisation and partial volume effect. Therefore, statistics on sulcal measurements should generalize across patients. T1 MRI datasets were studied in at-risk subjects, adolescent onset schizophrenia, and patients with treatment-resistant depression and auditory hallucinations.
Decreased in sulci surface were detected in whole brain sulcal indices and in regional sulcal indices. Decreases in global sulcal indices were detected in most patient groups, except in at risk subjects. Decreases in local sulcal indices were detected in langage-related areas in resistant hallucinators (Cachia 2007), and confined to left temporal regions in adolescent schizophrenia (Pentilla, submitted). In patients with treatment-resistant depression, sulci descriptors differed in right hemisphere sulci adjacent to limbic regions (Pentilla, submitted).
The potential of the gyrification pattern for the inference of neuroimage-based developmental biomarkers will be further examined using multivariate classification approaches (Duchesnay 2006).
. Mangin et al., Neuroimage 2004 - Cachia et al., Neuroimage 2007 – Duchesnay et al., Neuroimage 2006
The most striking, yet poorly understood morphological features of the human cerebral cortex are the complex arrangements of its foldings: the sulci and gyri. Cortical gyrification is formed during fetal age and childhood. Thus, indices measuring the folding pattern could provide cues for the neurodevelopmental pathopsychology.
A fully-automated method was applied to T1 magnetic resonance images to extract, label and measure the sulcus area in the whole cortex. Gyrification was assessed using both global and local sulcal indices, defined respectively as the ratio between the total sulcal area, or the area of each labeled sulcus, and the outer cortex area.
As a validation, MRI datasets in controls showed that handedness modify the folding of the motor area in dominant hemisphere (Mangin 2004), and differences in left and right superior temporal sulci which may stem from language-based asymmetries (Ochiai 2004). In a sample of schizophrenia patients with treatment-resistant auditory hallucination, global sulcal surface index was decreased, and local sulci surface indices differed in language-related regions. Further analyses are performed in samples from various MR datasets. Statistics on such measurements should generalize across patients and hospitals.
The potential of the gyrification pattern for the neuroimage-based inference of developmental deviation will be examined.
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