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Abstract #3445

Systematic Investigation of Volume Changes Induced by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in Cortical and Sub-Cortical Regions

Xiangchuan Chen1, Mary E. Lynch2, Xiaoping Hu1, Claire D. Coles2

1Biomedical Imaging Technology Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Systematic investigation of volumetric brain changes induced by prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) was performed by segmenting the cerebral cortex and the sub-cortical structures into various regions of interest with Freesurfer on T1-weighted images. Many cortical and sub-cortical regions exhibited reduced volume by PAE, suggesting that most brain structures can be affected. Our data also support that alcohol is a teratogen that may produce a spectrum of brain structural changes: from mild through moderate to severe. Moreover, gender and interhemispheric difference in PAE effect were found, which may shed some light on the special teratogenic mechanism of alcohol on human brain.