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Childhood socio-economic disadvantage predicts reduced myelin growth across adolescence and young adulthood

Ziegler, G; Moutoussis, M; Hauser, TU; Fearon, R; Bullmore, ET; Goodyer, IM; Fonagy, P; ... Dolan, RJ; + view all (2020) Childhood socio-economic disadvantage predicts reduced myelin growth across adolescence and young adulthood. Human Brain Mapping , 41 (12) pp. 3392-3402. 10.1002/hbm.25024. Green open access

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Abstract

Socio‐economic disadvantage increases exposure to life stressors. Animal research suggests early life stressors impact later neurodevelopment, including myelin developmental growth. To determine how early life disadvantage may affect myelin growth in adolescence and young adulthood, we analysed data from an accelerated longitudinal neuroimaging study measuring magnetisation transfer (MT), a myelin‐sensitive marker, in 288 participants (149 female) between 14 and 25 years of age at baseline. We found that early life economic disadvantage before age 12, measured by a neighbourhood poverty index, was associated with slower myelin growth. This association was observed for magnetization transfer in cortical, subcortical and core white matter regions, and also in key subcortical nuclei. Participant IQ at baseline, alcohol use, body mass index, parental occupation and self‐reported parenting quality did not account for these effects, but parental education did so partially. Specifically, positive parenting moderated the effect of socio‐economic disadvantage in a protective manner. Thus, early socioeconomic disadvantage appears to alter myelin growth across adolescence. This finding has potential translational implications, including clarifying whether reducing socio‐economic disadvantage during childhood, and increasing parental education and positive parenting, promote normal trajectories of brain development in economically disadvantaged contexts.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood socio-economic disadvantage predicts reduced myelin growth across adolescence and young adulthood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25024
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: adolescence, development, longitudinal, magnetization, transfer, myelin, parental education, parenting, quantitative imaging, socio‐economic disadvantage, young adulthood
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 Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095681
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