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Abstract #2250

Disentangling neurite and soma contributions to cortical microstructural development in vivo

Sila Genc1, Maxime Chamberland1, Gareth Ball2, Erika Raven1, Isobel Ward1, Chantal Tax1, Marco Palombo3, and Derek Jones1
1Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom, 2Developmental Imaging, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Australia, 3Centre for Medical Image Computing and Department of Computer Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom

MRI studies of cortical development have revealed macroscopic changes in morphology, with thickness/volume decreasing over childhood and adolescence. Recent microstructural modelling advances hold promise for quantifying the cellular changes driving these observations. We characterised cortical neurite and soma microstructure in 88 participants aged 8-18 years.

Key findings:

  • a positive age-relationship for neurite fraction and orientation dispersion, suggesting that axons/processes increase in density and branch/elongate with age;
  • a lower apparent soma radius with age, which may indicate selective neuronal soma loss and/or glial infiltration.

Overall, our study provides in vivo evidence of distinct developmental patterns of cortical neurite and soma microstructure.

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