A Multi-Modal MRI Analysis of Cortical Structure in Relation to Gender Dysphoria, Sexual Orientation, and Age in Adolescents.
|Title||A Multi-Modal MRI Analysis of Cortical Structure in Relation to Gender Dysphoria, Sexual Orientation, and Age in Adolescents.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Skorska MN, Chavez S, Devenyi GA, Patel R, Thurston LT, Lai M-C, Zucker KJ, Chakravarty MM, Lobaugh NJ, VanderLaan DP|
|Journal||J Clin Med|
|Date Published||2021 Jan 18|
Gender dysphoria (GD) is characterized by distress due to an incongruence between experienced gender and sex assigned at birth. Sex-differentiated brain regions are hypothesized to reflect the experienced gender in GD and may play a role in sexual orientation development. Magnetic resonance brain images were acquired from 16 GD adolescents assigned female at birth (AFAB) not receiving hormone therapy, 17 cisgender girls, and 14 cisgender boys (ages 12-17 years) to examine three morphological and microstructural gray matter features in 76 brain regions: surface area (SA), cortical thickness (CT), and T1 relaxation time. Sexual orientation was represented by degree of androphilia-gynephilia and sexual attraction strength. Multivariate analyses found that cisgender boys had larger SA than cisgender girls and GD AFAB. Shorter T1, reflecting denser, macromolecule-rich tissue, correlated with older age and stronger gynephilia in cisgender boys and GD AFAB, and with stronger attractions in cisgender boys. Thus, cortical morphometry (mainly SA) was related to sex assigned at birth, but not experienced gender. Effects of experienced gender were found as similarities in correlation patterns in GD AFAB and cisgender boys in age and sexual orientation (mainly T1), indicating the need to consider developmental trajectories and sexual orientation in brain studies of GD.
|Alternate Journal||J Clin Med|
|PubMed Central ID||PMC7831120|
|Grant List||FRN 142348 / CAPMC / CIHR / Canada |
FRN 159578 / CAPMC / CIHR / Canada