Method: As part of a European multisite study (FemNAT-CD), structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were collected from 48 females and 48 males with CD and 104 sex-, age-, and pubertal-status matched controls (14-18 years). Data were analyzed using surface-based morphometry, testing for effects of sex, diagnosis, and sex-by-diagnosis interactions, while controlling for age, IQ, scan site, and total gray matter volume.
Results: CD was associated with cortical thinning and higher gyrification in ventromedial prefrontal cortex in both sexes. Males with CD showed lower, and females with CD showed higher, supramarginal gyrus cortical thickness compared with controls. Relative to controls, males with CD showed higher gyrification and surface area in superior frontal gyrus, whereas the opposite pattern was seen in females. There were no effects of diagnosis or sex-by-diagnosis interactions on subcortical volumes. Results are discussed with regard to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, and substance abuse comorbidity, medication use, handedness, and CD age of onset.
Conclusion: We found both similarities and differences between males and females in CD–cortical structure associations. This initial evidence that the pathophysiological basis of CD may be partly sex-specific highlights the need to consider sex in future neuroimaging studies and suggests that males and females may require different treatments.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry|
|Early online date||1 Jun 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Aug 2017|
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