Linda Chang1, Kazim Gumus1, Ashley Saito1, Aaron Hoo1, Alexandra Pritchett1, Daniel Alicata1, Christine Cloak1, Thomas Ernst1
1Department of Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, United States
Methamphetamine is a neurotoxic drug but its effects on brain development has not been well studied. 118 children were enrolled at ages 3-4 years (50 METH-exposed prenatally, 68 un-exposed controls); DTI was performed annually over 3 years. An automated-atlas approach with LDDMM in MRIStudio was used for data analyses. Despite similar physical characteristics (including head circumference), global cognitive function (on Stanford-Binet), and parental education, intelligence and mood, METH-exposed children had lower mean diffusion throughout and abnormal fractional anisotropy compared to un-exposed controls. These diffusion abnormalities persisted over the 3-year follow-up period. Further correlations will be performed with cognitive measurements.