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Abstract #0073

Sex Differences in Structural and Functional Network Topology are Present at Birth: A Multi-modal Graph Theory Study

Vincent Jerome Schmithorst 1 , Jessica Wisnowski 1 , and Ashok Panigrahy 1

1 Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

We investigated possible sex differences in structural and functional network topology in healthy neonates using DTI and intrinsic-connectivity fMRI, respectively. While structural network topology is similar, females show greater modularity due to a more developed frontal interhemispheric subnetwork. Functionally, females show more developed frontal and fronto-temporo-parietal interhemispheric subnetworks, resulting in greater modularity, efficiency, and small-worldness. Results show that at least some brain sex differences arise during prenatal development. Moreover, these differences may account for the greater risk of white matter injury and poorer neurocognitive outcomes in males following perinatal stressors such as preterm birth or congenital heart disease.

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