Quantification of normal brain maturation is a crucial step in understanding developmental abnormalities in brain anatomy and function. The aim of this study was to develop atlas-based tools for time-dependent quantitative image analysis, and to characterize the anatomical changes that occur from 2. years of age to adulthood. We used large deformation diffeomorphic metric mapping to register diffusion tensor images of normal participants into the common coordinates and used a pre-segmented atlas to segment the entire brain into 176 structures. Both voxel- and atlas-based analyses reported a structure that showed distinctive changes in terms of its volume and diffusivity measures. In the white matter, fractional anisotropy (FA) linearly increased with age in logarithmic scale, while diffusivity indices, such as apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and axial and radial diffusivity, decreased at a different rate in several regions. The average, variability, and the time course of each measured parameter are incorporated into the atlas, which can be used for automated detection of developmental abnormalities. As a demonstration of future application studies, the brainstem anatomy of cerebral palsy patients was evaluated and the altered anatomy was delineated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience