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Brain structure in children with congenital visual disorders and visual impairment

Bathelt, J; Dale, NJ; de Haan, M; Clark, CA; (2019) Brain structure in children with congenital visual disorders and visual impairment. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 10.1111/dmcn.14322. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

AIM: To examine if congenital visual impairment is associated with differences in brain anatomy in children. METHOD: Ten children (8-12y) with congenital disorders of the peripheral visual system with severe visual impairment (SVI; >0.8 logMAR) or mild-to-moderate visual impairment (MVI; 0.6-0.8 logMAR) were compared to 21 typically sighted comparison (TSC) children. Thalamus volume, grey matter density, white matter microstructure, and integrity of visual tracts were investigated in SVI, MVI, and TSC groups with anatomical and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: Compared to the TSC group, the SVI group had lower white matter integrity in tracts of the visual system (optic radiations: SVI 0.35±0.015, TSC 0.39±0.007 [p=0.022]; posterior corpus callosum: SVI 0.37±0.019; TSC 0.42±0.009 [p=0.033]) and lower left thalamus volume (SVI 4.37±0.087; TSC 4.99±0.339 [p=0.015]). Neuroanatomical differences were greater in the SVI group, while no consistent differences between the MVI and TSC group were observed. INTERPRETATION: Posterior tracts of the visual system are compromised in children with congenital visual impairment versus those who are typically sighted. The severity of visual input appears to have affected neuroanatomical development as significant reductions were only found in the SVI group. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS: Severe visual impairment in mid-childhood is associated with reduced integrity of visual pathways and reduced thalamus volume.

Type: Article
Title: Brain structure in children with congenital visual disorders and visual impairment
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.14322
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.14322
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10080612
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