Aberrant Parietal Cortex Developmental Trajectories in Girls With Turner Syndrome and Related Visual–Spatial Cognitive Development: A Preliminary Study
Chromik, Lindsay C.
Mazaika, Paul K.
Raman, Mira M.
Lazzeroni, Laura C.
Hong, David S.
Reiss, Allan L.
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AbstractTurner syndrome (TS) arises from partial or complete absence of the X-chromosome in females. Girls with TS show deficits in visual–spatial skills as well as reduced brain volume and surface area in the parietal cortex which supports these cognitive functions. Thus, measuring the developmental trajectory of the parietal cortex and the associated visual–spatial cognition in TS may provide novel insights into critical brain-behavior associations. In this longitudinal study, we acquired structural MRI data and assessed visual–spatial skills in 16 (age: 8.23 ±2.5) girls with TS and 13 age-matched controls over two time-points. Gray and white matter volume, surface area and cortical thickness were calculated from surfaced based segmentation of bilateral parietal cortices, and the NEPSY Arrows subtest was used to assess visual–spatial ability. Volumetric and cognitive scalars were modeled to obtain estimates of age-related change. The results show aberrant growth of white matter volume (P =0.011, corrected) and surface area (P =0.036, corrected) of the left superior parietal regions during childhood in girls with TS. Other parietal sub-regions were significantly smaller in girls with TS at both time-points but did not show different growth trajectories relative to controls. Furthermore, we found that visual–spatial skills showed a widening deficit for girls with TS relative to controls (P =0.003). Young girls with TS demonstrate an aberrant trajectory of parietal cortical and cognitive development during childhood. Elucidating aberrant neurodevelopmental trajectories in this population is critical for determining specific stages of brain maturation that are particularly dependent on TS-related genetic and hormonal factor.