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Abstract #1415

Longitudinal metabolite trajectories in the midfrontal gray matter in normally developing South African children

Martha J Holmes1, Frances C Robertson1, Francesca Little2, Mark F Cotton3, Els Dobbels3, Andre JW van der Kouwe4,5, Barbara Laughton3, and Ernesta M Meintjes1

1MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Research Unit, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 2Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 3Children’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, Tygerberg Children’s Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, 4A.A. Martinos Centre for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, United States, 5Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) measures changes in localized brain metabolism that occur alongside structural and functional development. Well-described trajectories of major metabolites with age provide a benchmark of normal brain maturation. In a longitudinal study, we examined the trajectories of NAA, choline and creatine in normally developing South African children at 5, 7 and 9 years. We found age-related increases in NAA and creatine levels, and constant choline levels in the midfrontal gray matter. Since no gender or ethnicity effects were observed, these results are generalizable to a wide pediatric population against which pathology and abnormal development may be compared.

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