Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Genetics of Externalizing Behavior and Structural Brain Development in Adolescence

Version 1 : Received: 3 February 2022 / Approved: 4 February 2022 / Online: 4 February 2022 (15:07:45 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Teeuw, J.; Klein, M.; Mota, N.R.; Brouwer, R.M.; van ‘t Ent, D.; Al-Hassaan, Z.; Franke, B.; Boomsma, D.I.; Hulshoff Pol, H.E. Multivariate Genetic Structure of Externalizing Behavior and Structural Brain Development in a Longitudinal Adolescent Twin Sample. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 3176. Teeuw, J.; Klein, M.; Mota, N.R.; Brouwer, R.M.; van ‘t Ent, D.; Al-Hassaan, Z.; Franke, B.; Boomsma, D.I.; Hulshoff Pol, H.E. Multivariate Genetic Structure of Externalizing Behavior and Structural Brain Development in a Longitudinal Adolescent Twin Sample. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 3176.

Journal reference: Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 3176
DOI: 10.3390/ijms23063176

Abstract

Externalizing behavior in its more extreme form is often considered a problem to the individual, their families, teachers and society as a whole. Several brain structures have been linked to externalizing behavior and such associations may arise if the (co)development of externalizing behavior and brain structures share the same genetic and/or environmental factor(s). We assessed externalizing behavior with the Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self Report, and brain volumes and white matter integrity (FA and MD) with magnetic resonance imaging in the BrainSCALE cohort, consisting of twins and their older siblings from 112 families measured longitudinally at ages 10, 13, and 18 years of the twins. Genes influenced externalizing behavior and changes therein (h2 up to 88%). More pronounced externalizing behavior was associated with higher FA (observed correlation rph up to +0.20) and lower MD (rph up to –0.20); with sizeable genetic correlations (FA ra up to +0.42; MD ra up to –0.33). Cortical gray matter (CGM; rph up to –0.20) and cerebral white matter (CWM; rph up to +0.20) volume were phenotypically but not genotypically associated with externalizing behavior. These results suggest a potential mediating role for global brain structures in the display of externalizing behavior during adolescence that are both partially explained by the influence from the same genetic factor.

Keywords

externalizing behavior; adolescence; gray matter volume; white matter integrity; heritability; genetic correlation; longitudinal; magnetic resonance imaging

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Behavioral Neuroscience

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