Characterization of cortical thickness in DS is dependent on the control group

Surprisingly little is known about the developing brain in DS. Dividing cortical volume into thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) may be particularly fruitful, because CT and SA have differing genetic etiologies and developmental trajectories and both are linked to individual differences in intellectual functioning in TD individuals. As such, we aimed to examine differences in imaging findings for DS as compared to both peers who are the same chronological age (CA) as well as younger children with a similar mental age (MA). Results suggest that the pediatric brain in DS differs from CA-matched peers on both neuroanatomical features (SA and CT). However, compared to MA-matched peers, differences only emerge within SA but not CT. This suggests SA deviations may reflect atypical development in excess of overall developmental level. In contrast, aberrant CT in DS may relate more to developmental level.

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