Widespread White Matter Differences in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Diffusion tensor imaging studies show white matter (WM) abnormalities in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, investigations are often limited by small samples, particularly problematic given the heterogeneity of ASD. We explored WM using DTI in a large sample of 130 children and adolescents (7-15 years) with and without ASD, whether age-related changes differed between ASD and control groups, and the relation between DTI measures and ASD symptomatology. Reduced fractional anisotropy and axial diffusivity were observed in ASD in numerous WM tracts, including the corpus callosum and thalamocortical fibres-tracts crucial for interhemispheric connectivity and higher order information processing. Widespread WM compromise in ASD is consistent with the view that ASD is a disorder of generalized complex information processing.

publication date

  • June 2016