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Abstract #2239

General factors of white matter microstructure in the newborn human brain

Kadi Vaher1, Paola Galdi1, Manuel Blesa Cabez1, Gemma Sullivan1, Gill Black1, David Q Stoye1, Alan J Quigley2, Michael J Thrippelton3, Simon R Cox4, Mark E Bastin3, Debby Bogaert5, and James P Boardman1
1MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2Department of Paediatric Radiology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 3Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 4Lothian Birth Cohort Studies group, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 5Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Preterm birth associates with diffuse white matter dysmaturation, which is linked to neurocognitive impairment. We applied principal component analysis to tract-averaged diffusion tensor (DTI) and neurite orientation and density imaging (NODDI) measures to derive single- and multimodal general factors describing neonatal white matter microstructure. We report substantial shared variance of DTI and NODDI metrics across 16 white matter tracts and between the different metrics; the derived general factors associate with preterm birth. These results suggest that general factors are efficient markers of generalised white matter microstructure in early life, and are useful for investigating the determinants of white matter development.

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