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Abstract #3678

Characterizing the Effect of Fetal Ethanol Exposure on Subsequent Morphological Development of Neurons in the Cerebral Cortex by Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Lindsey A. Leigland1, Matthew D. Budde2, Christopher D. Kroenke1, 3

1Advanced Imaging Research Center and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States; 2Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, United States; 3Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Beaverton, OR, United States

The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of prenatal exposure to ethanol on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measurements in the developing cerebral cortex, and directly compare histological evidence of disrupted neuronal morphology in a rat model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Data indicated disruptions in cortical developmental DTI patterns seen in response to prenatal exposure to ethanol, related via histology to abnormal neuronal morphology and differentiation. Given the sensitivity of DTI to detect abnormalities caused by ethanol exposure during gestation, DTI is introduced as a potential diagnostic methodology for FASD.