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brain as the ratio of the total folded cortical surface over the Brodmann areas from neuroimaging cerebral data sets have also
perimeter of the brain.
More recently, an automated 3D adaptation showed promising results.
of the gyrification index was proposed to quantify the amount of
cortex buried within the sulcal folds in circular regions of interest
Besides methodological developments, future advances in the
(see Figure 3). Given that the cortex grows through radial field of structural neuroimaging will also largely rely on the
the local gyrification index was specifically designed to identification of subgroups of patients who show different
quantify and localise early defects of cortical expansion. Studies of developmental trajectories within the same disease, or of patients
adolescents and adults who underwent pre- or peri-natal adverse with different sensitivities to treatment. The identification of such
events have confirmed the persistence of cortical folding structural endophenotypes may prove useful as biological markers of
abnormalities into adulthood. For instance, using measurements of psychiatric diseases. Indeed, as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
sulcal depth, Gimenez et al.
observed shallower orbitofrontal sulci of Mental Disorders (DSM) is currently under revision, Hyman
in adolescents who were born prematurely. Similarly, a reduced local questions the utility of incorporating neuroscience into the DSM-V
gyrification index was observed in adolescents and adults with a classification.
At last, the increasing connections between
genetic condition who underwent cardiac surgery during their first neuroscience and psychiatry are changing and the nature of
few years of life compared with children with the same genetic psychiatry is moving towards “a more technologically sophisticated
condition but with normal cardiac status.
By extension, gyrification and more scientifically rigorous medical discipline”.
abnormalities in other neurodevelopmental conditions may signal
early adverse events.
Marie Schaer is a Post-doctoral Researcher in the
Medico-Pedagogical Service of the University of
Perspectives Geneva and is also undergoing post-graduate clinical
Over the past few decades the development of image-processing
training in psychiatry. She is interested in the
application of neuroimaging methods to delineate brain
techniques has allowed increasing precision in the delineation of
development. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal
the cerebral phenotype. In this article we presented a schematic Institute of Technology, she also works on the
distinction between cortical thickness as an index of the dynamic of
development of new image-processing methods,
including neuroimaging in monkeys and pre-natal
cortical maturation and gyrification as a window on early brain
imaging. She completed her medical training at the University of Geneva in January
development. While this distinction may seem oversimplified, 2005 and, supported by a Swiss National Research Fund, recently obtained a PhD from
it provides a clear framework for an initial interpretation of
the Lemanic Neuroscience School of the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne.
several neuroimaging results and offers opportunities to build
Stephan Eliez is Director of the Medico-Pedagogical
hypotheses on the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental conditions. Service and a Professor of Child Psychiatry at the
Regarding future methodological developments, methods with the
Geneva University School of Medicine. Supported by a
Swiss National Research Fund, he has established a
most exquisite spatial resolution will probably be replaced by
laboratory in Geneva devoted to longitudinal research
techniques that regroup the cortical structure into functionally focusing on genetics, psychiatry and neuroimaging in
defined entities. For that purpose, sulcal-based automated cortical
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS). Dr Eliez
completed his medical and doctoral training at the
parcellation methods have now been developed
and represent a
University of Geneva, before a research programme
powerful tool to obtain accurate regional cortical volumes without into 22q11DS at Stanford University.
regional a priori. One step further, initial attempts at predicting
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