RESEARCH ARTICLE


Brain Development in Childhood



Yasuyuki Taki1, 2, 3, *, Ryuta Kawashima2, 4, 5
1 Division of Meidcal Image Analysis, Department of Community Medical Supports, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
2 Division of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
3 Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
4 Smart Ageing International Research Centre, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
5 Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan


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© Taki and Kawashima; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Meidcal Image Analysis, Department of Community Medical Supports Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization Tohoku University 4-1 Seiryocho, Aobaku, 980-8575 Sendai, Japan; Tel: +81-(0)22-717-8457; Fax: +81-(0)22-717-8457; E-mail: ytaki@idac.tohoku.ac.jp


Abstract

Although human brain development continues throughout childhood and adolescence, it is a non-linear process both structurally and functionally. Here we review studies of brain development in healthy children from the viewpoint of structure and the perfusion of gray and white matter. Gray matter volume increases and then decreases with age, with the developmental time of the peak volume differing among brain regions in the first and second decades of life. On the other hand, white matter volume increase is mostly linear during those periods. As regards fractional anisotropy, most regions show an exponential trajectory with aging. In addition, cerebral blood flow and gray matter volume are proportional at similar developmental ages. Moreover, we show that several lifestyle choices, such as sleeping habits and breakfast staple, affect gray matter volume in healthy children. There are a number of uninvestigated important issues that require future study.

Keywords: Development, Children, Gray matter, White matter, Voxel-based morphometry, Diffusion tensor imaging, Magnetic resonance imaging, Arterial spin labeling.