Diffusion properties of the fornix assessed by deterministic tractography shows age, sex, volume, cognitive, hemispheric, and twin relationships in young adults from the Human Connectome Project.

Abstract:

:The fornix is the primary efferent pathway of the hippocampus and plays a central role in memory circuitry. Diffusion tensor imaging has shown changes in the fornix with typical development and aging. Here, the fornix was investigated in 903 healthy young adult participants aged 22-36 years old from the high-spatial resolution 1.25 mm isotropic Human Connectome Project (HCP) diffusion dataset. Manual deterministic tractography was used to assess relationships between fornix diffusion parameters and age, sex, laterality, hippocampus volume, memory scores, and genetic effects in a subgroup of mono- and dizygotic twins. Fornix diffusion metrics were weakly correlated with age over the given age span. While significant hemispheric and sex differences were observed (greater fractional anisotropy (FA) and volume in the right hemisphere; greater FA and volume in females), there was great overlap between the groups. Hippocampus volume measurements showed greater volume in the right hemisphere, were found to be larger in males, and were weakly correlated with fornix FA and volume. Interestingly, all fornix diffusion measurements correlated strongly with fornix volume, suggesting the presence of partial volume effects despite the high-spatial resolution of the data. Both fornix diffusion parameters and hippocampal volumes were able to explain some variance (0.6-5.5%) in the memory tests evaluated. The fornix diffusion parameters were influenced by both genetic and shared environmental factors, displaying greater variability in dizygotic than in monozygotic twins. These findings provide a comprehensive depiction of the fornix in healthy, young individuals, upon which future typical development/aging and pathological studies could anchor.

journal_name

Brain Struct Funct

authors

Cahn AJ,Little G,Beaulieu C,Tétreault P

doi

10.1007/s00429-020-02181-9

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2021-01-02 00:00:00

eissn

1863-2653

issn

1863-2661

pii

10.1007/s00429-020-02181-9

pub_type

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