Impaired functional but preserved structural connectivity in limbic white matter tracts in youth with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder plus psychopathic traits

Elizabeth Carrie Finger, Abigail Marsh, Karina Simone Blair, Catherine Majestic, Iordanis Evangelou, Karan Gupta, Marguerite Reid Schneider, Courtney Sims, Kayla Pope, Katherine Fowler, Stephen Sinclair, Fernanda Tovar-Moll, Daniel Pine, Robert James Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Youths with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder and psychopathic traits (CD/ODD + PT) are at high risk of adult antisocial behavior and psychopathy. Neuroimaging studies demonstrate functional abnormalities in orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala in both youths and adults with psychopathic traits. Diffusion tensor imaging in psychopathic adults demonstrates disrupted structural connectivity between these regions (uncinate fasiculus). The current study examined whether functional neural abnormalities present in youths with CD/ODD. +. PT are associated with similar white matter abnormalities. Youths with CD/ODD. +. PT and comparison participants completed 3.0. T diffusion tensor scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. Diffusion tensor imaging did not reveal disruption in structural connections within the uncinate fasiculus or other white matter tracts in youths with CD/ODD. +. PT, despite the demonstration of disrupted amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity in these youths. These results suggest that disrupted amygdala-frontal white matter connectivity as measured by fractional anisotropy is less sensitive than imaging measurements of functional perturbations in youths with psychopathic traits. If white matter tracts are intact in youths with this disorder, childhood may provide a critical window for intervention and treatment, before significant structural brain abnormalities solidify.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-244
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Volume202
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 30 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Finger, E. C., Marsh, A., Blair, K. S., Majestic, C., Evangelou, I., Gupta, K., Schneider, M. R., Sims, C., Pope, K., Fowler, K., Sinclair, S., Tovar-Moll, F., Pine, D., & Blair, R. J. (2012). Impaired functional but preserved structural connectivity in limbic white matter tracts in youth with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder plus psychopathic traits. Psychiatry Research - Neuroimaging, 202(3), 239-244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.11.002