Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has shown poorer microstructural white matter integrity in children with phenylketonuria (PKU), specifically decreases in mean diffusivity (MD), in comparison with healthy children. However, little research has been conducted to investigate the relationship between age and white matter integrity in this population. The present study examined group differences in the relationship between age and MD across a range of brain regions in 31 children with early- and continuously-treated PKU and 51 healthy control children. Relationships among MD, age, and group were explored using hierarchical linear regression and Pearson correlation. Results indicated a stronger age-related decrease in MD for children with PKU in comparison with healthy children in 4 of the 10 brain regions examined, suggesting that the trajectory of white matter development is abnormal in children with PKU. Further research using longitudinal methodology is needed to fully elucidate our understanding of white matter development in children with PKU.
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- White matter