Lynn Michelle Anderson1, Linda Chang1, Steven Buchthal1, Christine Cloak1, Aaron Hoo1, Brian Keating1, Jeffrey Sadino1, Thomas Ernst1
1John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hi, USA
The effects of in utero stimulant-exposure (METH and nicotine) on brain white matter microstructural development were evaluated in newborns using DTI, and without sedation. Overall, normal, age-related increases in fractional anisotropy (FA), as well as age-related decline in mean, radial and axial diffusivity were observed in both groups. However, the stimulant-exposed group showed less steep slopes in age-related development in the thalamic FA, and mean and radial diffusion, as compared to the non-exposed group. Infants exposed to stimulants in utero may have slower age-related axonal growth and myelination in the thalamus than non-stimulant exposed infants.