Influence of age, sex and genetic factors on the human brain

D. Reese McKay, Emma E.M. Knowles, Anderson A.M. Winkler, Emma Sprooten, Peter Kochunov, Rene L. Olvera, Joanne E. Curran, Jack W. Kent, Melanie A. Carless, Harald H.H. Göring, Thomas D. Dyer, Ravi Duggirala, Laura Almasy, Peter T. Fox, John Blangero, David C. Glahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report effects of age, age2, sex and additive genetic factors on variability in gray matter thickness, surface area and white matter integrity in 1,010 subjects from the Genetics of Brain Structure and Function Study. Age was more strongly associated with gray matter thickness and fractional anisotropy of water diffusion in white matter tracts, while sex was more strongly associated with gray matter surface area. Widespread heritability of neuroanatomic traits was observed, suggesting that brain structure is under strong genetic control. Furthermore, our findings indicate that neuroimaging-based measurements of cerebral variability are sensitive to genetic mediation. Fundamental studies of genetic influence on the brain will help inform gene discovery initiatives in both clinical and normative samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Anatomical MRI
  • Demographic covariates
  • Extended pedigrees
  • Heritability
  • Imaging genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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  • Cite this

    McKay, D. R., Knowles, E. E. M., Winkler, A. A. M., Sprooten, E., Kochunov, P., Olvera, R. L., Curran, J. E., Kent, J. W., Carless, M. A., Göring, H. H. H., Dyer, T. D., Duggirala, R., Almasy, L., Fox, P. T., Blangero, J., & Glahn, D. C. (2014). Influence of age, sex and genetic factors on the human brain. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 8(2), 143-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-013-9277-5