Human subcortical brain asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex

Tulio Guadalupe, Samuel R. Mathias, Theo G. M. Vanerp, Christopher D. Whelan, Marcel P. Zwiers, Yoshinari Abe, Lucija Abramovic, Ingrid Agartz, Ole A. Andreassen, Alejandro Arias-Vasquez, Benjamin S. Aribisala, Nicola J. Armstrong, Volker Arolt, Eric Artiges, Rosa Ayesa-Arriola, Vatche G. Baboyan, Tobias Banaschewski, Gareth Barker, Mark E. Bastin, Bernhard T. BauneJohn Blangero, Arun L. . W. Bokde, Premika S. . W. Boedhoe, Anushree Bose, Silvia Brem, Henry Brodaty, Uli Bromberg, Samantha Brooks, Christian Buechel, Jan Buitelaar, Vince D. Calhoun, Dara M. Cannon, Anna Cattrell, Yuqi Cheng, Patricia J. Conrod, Annette Conzelmann, Aiden Corvin, Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, Fabrice Crivello, Udo Dannlowski, Greig I. De Zubicaray, Sonja M. C. De Zwarte, Ian J. Deary, Sylvane Desrivieres, Nhat Trung Doan, Gary Donohoe, Erlend S. Dorum, Stefan Ehrlich, Thomas Espeseth, Guillen Fernandez, Herta Flor, Jean-Paul Fouche, Vincent Frouin, Masaki Fukunaga, Jurgen Gallinat, Hugh Garavan, Michael Gill, Andrea Gonzalez Suarez, Penny Gowland, Hans J. Grabe, Dominik Grotegerd, Oliver Gruber, Saskia Hagenaars, Ryota Hashimoto, Tobias U. Hauser, Andreas Heinz, Derrek P. Hibar, Pieter J. Hoekstra, Martine Hoogman, Fleur M. Howells, Hao Hu, Hilleke E. Hulshoff Pol, Chaim Huyser, Bernd Ittermann, Neda Jahanshad, Erik G. Jonsson, Sarah Jurk, Rene S. Kahn, Sinead Kelly, Bernd Kraemer, Harald Kugel, Jun Soo Kwon, Herve Lemaitre, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Christine Lochner, Michelle Luciano, Andre F. Marquand, Nicholas G. Martin, Ignacio Martinez-Zalacain, Jean-Luc Martinot, David Mataix-Cols, Karen Mather, Colm McDonald, Katie L. McMahon, Sarah E. Medland, Jose M. Menchon, Derek W. Morris, Omar Mothersill, Susana Munoz Maniega, Benson Mwangi, Takashi Nakamae, Tomohiro Nakao, Janardhanan C. Narayanaswaamy, Frauke Nees, Jan E. Nordvik, A. Marten H. Onnink, Nils Opel, Roel Ophoff, Marie-Laure Paillere Martinot, Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Paul Pauli, Tomas Paus, Luise Poustka, Janardhan Y. C. Reddy, Miguel E. Renteria, Roberto Roiz-Santianez, Annerine Roos, Natalie A. Royle, Perminder Sachdev, Pascual Sanchez-Juan, Lianne Schmaal, Gunter Schumann, Elena Shumskaya, Michael N. Smolka, Jair C. Soares, Carles Soriano-Mas, Dan J. Stein, Lachlan T. Strike, Roberto Toro, Jessica A. Turner, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer, Anne Uhlmann, Maria Valdes Hernandez, Odile A. Van den Heuvel, Dennis Van der Meer, Neeltje E. M. Van Haren, Dick J. Veltman, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Nora C. Vetter, Daniella Vuletic, Susanne Walitza, Henrik Walter, Esther Walton, Zhen Wang, Joanna Wardlaw, Wei Wen, Lars T. Westlye, Robert Whelan, Katharina Wittfeld, Thomas Wolfers, Margaret J. Wright, Jian Xu, Xiufeng Xu, Je-Yeon Yun, JingJing Zhao, Barbara Franke, Paul M. Thompson, David C. Glahn, Bernard Mazoyer, Simon E. Fisher, Clyde Francks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

76 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymmetries, in a harmonized multi-site study using meta-analysis methods. Volumetric asymmetry of seven subcortical structures was assessed in 15,847 MRI scans from 52 dataset worldwide. There were sex differences in the asymmetry of the globus pallidus and putamen. Heritability estimates, derived from 1170 subjects belonging to 71 extended pedigrees, revealed that additive genetic factors influenced the asymmetry of these two structures and that of the hippocampus and thalamus. Handedness had no detectable effect on subcortical asymmetries, even in this unprecedented sample size, but the asymmetry of the putamen varied with age. Genetic drivers of asymmetry in the hippocampus, thalamus and basal ganglia may affect variability in human cognition, including susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1514
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Subcortical brain asymmetry
  • Age
  • Handedness
  • Sex
  • Enigma
  • Heritability
  • Meta-analysis
  • BASAL GANGLIA VOLUMES
  • CAUDATE-NUCLEUS
  • HEMISPHERIC-DIFFERENCES
  • NORMAL INDIVIDUALS
  • TOURETTE-SYNDROME
  • PLANUM TEMPORALE
  • AMYGDALA VOLUME
  • HAND PREFERENCE
  • YOUNG-ADULTS
  • MRI

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