Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies

Paolo Brambilla, Antonio Hardan, Stefania Ucelli Di Nemi, Jorge Perez, Jair C. Soares, Francesco Barale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

249 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely disrupts social and cognitive functions. MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasively investigating human brain morphology in children and adolescents. The authors reviewed structural MRI studies that investigated structural brain anatomy and development in autistic patients. All original MRI research papers involving autistic patients, published from 1966 to May 2003, were reviewed in order to elucidate brain anatomy and development of autism and rated for completeness using a 12-item check-list. Increased total brain, parieto-temporal lobe, and cerebellar hemisphere volumes were the most replicated abnormalities in autism. Interestingly, recent findings suggested that the size of amygdala, hippocampus, and corpus callosum may also be abnormal. It is conceivable that abnormalities in neural network involving fronto-temporo-parietal cortex, limbic system, and cerebellum may underlie the pathophysiology of autism, and that such changes could result from abnormal brain development during early life. Nonetheless, available MRI studies were often conflicting and could have been limited by methodological issues. Future MRI investigations should include well-characterized groups of autistic and matched healthy individuals, while taking into consideration confounding factors such as IQ, and socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume61
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2003

Fingerprint

Autistic Disorder
Anatomy
Brain
Limbic System
Parietal Lobe
Corpus Callosum
Temporal Lobe
Amygdala
Social Class
Cerebellum
Cognition
Hippocampus
Research Design
Research

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Cerebellum
  • Corpus callosum
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuroimaging
  • Vermis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Brain anatomy and development in autism : Review of structural MRI studies. / Brambilla, Paolo; Hardan, Antonio; Ucelli Di Nemi, Stefania; Perez, Jorge; Soares, Jair C.; Barale, Francesco.

In: Brain Research Bulletin, Vol. 61, No. 6, 15.10.2003, p. 557-569.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brambilla, P, Hardan, A, Ucelli Di Nemi, S, Perez, J, Soares, JC & Barale, F 2003, 'Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies', Brain Research Bulletin, vol. 61, no. 6, pp. 557-569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001
Brambilla, Paolo ; Hardan, Antonio ; Ucelli Di Nemi, Stefania ; Perez, Jorge ; Soares, Jair C. ; Barale, Francesco. / Brain anatomy and development in autism : Review of structural MRI studies. In: Brain Research Bulletin. 2003 ; Vol. 61, No. 6. pp. 557-569.
@article{c79c5825119442388a0e2aba026d240c,
title = "Brain anatomy and development in autism: Review of structural MRI studies",
abstract = "Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely disrupts social and cognitive functions. MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasively investigating human brain morphology in children and adolescents. The authors reviewed structural MRI studies that investigated structural brain anatomy and development in autistic patients. All original MRI research papers involving autistic patients, published from 1966 to May 2003, were reviewed in order to elucidate brain anatomy and development of autism and rated for completeness using a 12-item check-list. Increased total brain, parieto-temporal lobe, and cerebellar hemisphere volumes were the most replicated abnormalities in autism. Interestingly, recent findings suggested that the size of amygdala, hippocampus, and corpus callosum may also be abnormal. It is conceivable that abnormalities in neural network involving fronto-temporo-parietal cortex, limbic system, and cerebellum may underlie the pathophysiology of autism, and that such changes could result from abnormal brain development during early life. Nonetheless, available MRI studies were often conflicting and could have been limited by methodological issues. Future MRI investigations should include well-characterized groups of autistic and matched healthy individuals, while taking into consideration confounding factors such as IQ, and socioeconomic status.",
keywords = "Amygdala, Cerebellum, Corpus callosum, Hippocampus, Neuroimaging, Vermis",
author = "Paolo Brambilla and Antonio Hardan and {Ucelli Di Nemi}, Stefania and Jorge Perez and Soares, {Jair C.} and Francesco Barale",
year = "2003",
month = "10",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "557--569",
journal = "Brain Research Bulletin",
issn = "0361-9230",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Brain anatomy and development in autism

T2 - Review of structural MRI studies

AU - Brambilla, Paolo

AU - Hardan, Antonio

AU - Ucelli Di Nemi, Stefania

AU - Perez, Jorge

AU - Soares, Jair C.

AU - Barale, Francesco

PY - 2003/10/15

Y1 - 2003/10/15

N2 - Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely disrupts social and cognitive functions. MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasively investigating human brain morphology in children and adolescents. The authors reviewed structural MRI studies that investigated structural brain anatomy and development in autistic patients. All original MRI research papers involving autistic patients, published from 1966 to May 2003, were reviewed in order to elucidate brain anatomy and development of autism and rated for completeness using a 12-item check-list. Increased total brain, parieto-temporal lobe, and cerebellar hemisphere volumes were the most replicated abnormalities in autism. Interestingly, recent findings suggested that the size of amygdala, hippocampus, and corpus callosum may also be abnormal. It is conceivable that abnormalities in neural network involving fronto-temporo-parietal cortex, limbic system, and cerebellum may underlie the pathophysiology of autism, and that such changes could result from abnormal brain development during early life. Nonetheless, available MRI studies were often conflicting and could have been limited by methodological issues. Future MRI investigations should include well-characterized groups of autistic and matched healthy individuals, while taking into consideration confounding factors such as IQ, and socioeconomic status.

AB - Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that severely disrupts social and cognitive functions. MRI is the method of choice for in vivo and non-invasively investigating human brain morphology in children and adolescents. The authors reviewed structural MRI studies that investigated structural brain anatomy and development in autistic patients. All original MRI research papers involving autistic patients, published from 1966 to May 2003, were reviewed in order to elucidate brain anatomy and development of autism and rated for completeness using a 12-item check-list. Increased total brain, parieto-temporal lobe, and cerebellar hemisphere volumes were the most replicated abnormalities in autism. Interestingly, recent findings suggested that the size of amygdala, hippocampus, and corpus callosum may also be abnormal. It is conceivable that abnormalities in neural network involving fronto-temporo-parietal cortex, limbic system, and cerebellum may underlie the pathophysiology of autism, and that such changes could result from abnormal brain development during early life. Nonetheless, available MRI studies were often conflicting and could have been limited by methodological issues. Future MRI investigations should include well-characterized groups of autistic and matched healthy individuals, while taking into consideration confounding factors such as IQ, and socioeconomic status.

KW - Amygdala

KW - Cerebellum

KW - Corpus callosum

KW - Hippocampus

KW - Neuroimaging

KW - Vermis

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0141792647&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0141792647&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001

DO - 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2003.06.001

M3 - Article

C2 - 14519452

AN - SCOPUS:0141792647

VL - 61

SP - 557

EP - 569

JO - Brain Research Bulletin

JF - Brain Research Bulletin

SN - 0361-9230

IS - 6

ER -