Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Michael Suttie, Jeffrey R. Wozniak, Scott E. Parnell, Leah Wetherill, Sarah N. Mattson, Elizabeth R. Sowell, Eric Kan, Edward P. Riley, Kenneth L. Jones, Claire Coles, Tatiana Foroud, Peter Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Since the 1970s, a range of facial, neurostructural, and neurocognitive adverse effects have been shown to be associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Typically, these effects are studied individually and not in combination. Our objective is to improve the understanding of the teratogenic effects of prenatal alcohol exposure by simultaneously considering face-brain morphology and neurocognitive measures. Methods: Participants were categorized as control (n = 47), fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS, n = 22), or heavily exposed (HE) prenatally, but not eligible for a FAS diagnosis (HE, n = 50). Structural brain MRI images and high-resolution 3D facial images were analyzed using dense surface models of features of the face and surface shape of the corpus callosum (CC) and caudate nucleus (CN). Asymmetry of the CN was evaluated for correlations with neurocognitive measures. Results: (i) Facial growth delineations for FAS, HE, and controls are replicated for the CN and the CC. (ii) Concordance of clinical diagnosis and face-based control-FAS discrimination improves when the latter is combined with specific brain regions. In particular, midline facial regions discriminate better when combined with a midsagittal profile of the CC. (iii) A subset of HE individuals was identified with FAS-like CN dysmorphism. The average of this HE subset was FAS-like in its facial dysmorphism. (iv) Right-left asymmetry found in the CNs of controls is not apparent for FAS, is diminished for HE, and correlates with neurocognitive measures in the combined FAS and HE population. Conclusions: Shape analysis which combines facial regions with the CN, and with the CC, better identify those with FAS. CN asymmetry was reduced for FAS compared to controls and is strongly associated with general cognitive ability, verbal learning, and recall in those with prenatal alcohol exposure. This study further extends the brain-behavior relationships known to be vulnerable to alcohol teratogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Caudate Nucleus
Brain
Corpus Callosum
Alcohols
Teratogenesis
Verbal Learning
Aptitude
Magnetic resonance imaging
Growth
Population

Keywords

  • 3D Facial Analysis
  • Caudate Nucleus
  • Corpus Callosum
  • Facial Dysmorphism
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Suttie, M., Wozniak, J. R., Parnell, S. E., Wetherill, L., Mattson, S. N., Sowell, E. R., ... Hammond, P. (Accepted/In press). Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.13820

Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. / Suttie, Michael; Wozniak, Jeffrey R.; Parnell, Scott E.; Wetherill, Leah; Mattson, Sarah N.; Sowell, Elizabeth R.; Kan, Eric; Riley, Edward P.; Jones, Kenneth L.; Coles, Claire; Foroud, Tatiana; Hammond, Peter.

In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Suttie, M, Wozniak, JR, Parnell, SE, Wetherill, L, Mattson, SN, Sowell, ER, Kan, E, Riley, EP, Jones, KL, Coles, C, Foroud, T & Hammond, P 2018, 'Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders', Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.13820
Suttie, Michael ; Wozniak, Jeffrey R. ; Parnell, Scott E. ; Wetherill, Leah ; Mattson, Sarah N. ; Sowell, Elizabeth R. ; Kan, Eric ; Riley, Edward P. ; Jones, Kenneth L. ; Coles, Claire ; Foroud, Tatiana ; Hammond, Peter. / Combined Face-Brain Morphology and Associated Neurocognitive Correlates in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2018.
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AU - Mattson, Sarah N.

AU - Sowell, Elizabeth R.

AU - Kan, Eric

AU - Riley, Edward P.

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AU - Foroud, Tatiana

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N2 - Background: Since the 1970s, a range of facial, neurostructural, and neurocognitive adverse effects have been shown to be associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Typically, these effects are studied individually and not in combination. Our objective is to improve the understanding of the teratogenic effects of prenatal alcohol exposure by simultaneously considering face-brain morphology and neurocognitive measures. Methods: Participants were categorized as control (n = 47), fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS, n = 22), or heavily exposed (HE) prenatally, but not eligible for a FAS diagnosis (HE, n = 50). Structural brain MRI images and high-resolution 3D facial images were analyzed using dense surface models of features of the face and surface shape of the corpus callosum (CC) and caudate nucleus (CN). Asymmetry of the CN was evaluated for correlations with neurocognitive measures. Results: (i) Facial growth delineations for FAS, HE, and controls are replicated for the CN and the CC. (ii) Concordance of clinical diagnosis and face-based control-FAS discrimination improves when the latter is combined with specific brain regions. In particular, midline facial regions discriminate better when combined with a midsagittal profile of the CC. (iii) A subset of HE individuals was identified with FAS-like CN dysmorphism. The average of this HE subset was FAS-like in its facial dysmorphism. (iv) Right-left asymmetry found in the CNs of controls is not apparent for FAS, is diminished for HE, and correlates with neurocognitive measures in the combined FAS and HE population. Conclusions: Shape analysis which combines facial regions with the CN, and with the CC, better identify those with FAS. CN asymmetry was reduced for FAS compared to controls and is strongly associated with general cognitive ability, verbal learning, and recall in those with prenatal alcohol exposure. This study further extends the brain-behavior relationships known to be vulnerable to alcohol teratogenesis.

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