Gray matter reduction in the vermis and CRUS-II is associated with social and interaction deficits in low-functioning children with autistic spectrum disorders: A VBM-DARTEL study

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Abstract

Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies have reported abnormalities in brain regions involved in functions that are commonly impaired in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, little is known about brain structure anomalies in low-functioning (LF) young children with ASD. AVBM analysis was carried out to assess brain regions involved in ASD LF children, and a multiple regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between regional volume changes and autism symptom measures. Twenty-six LF ASD children (2-10 years) were compared with 21 controls. A VBMDiffeomorphic Anatomical Registration analysis using Exponentiated Lie algebra (DARTEL) was used to evaluate gray matter (GM) and white matter alterations, covaried with Intelligence Quotient, age, and total brain volume. The resulting altered regions were correlated with Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI)-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)-Generic scores. GM bilateral reduction was noted in the cerebellum (Crus II and vermis) and in the hippocampi in ASD group. GM reduction was also detected in the inferior and superior frontal gyri, in the occipital medial and superior gyri, and in the inferior temporal gyrus of the left cerebral hemisphere. In the right hemisphere, GM reduction was found in the post-central cortex and in the occipital inferior gyrus. Multiple regression analysis showed a correlation between alterations in GM volume in the cerebellum (Crus II and vermis) and ADI-communication and ADOS-total (communication and interaction) scores. These findings seem to confirm that the cerebellum is involved in integrating and regulating emotional and cognitive functions which are impaired in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-685
Number of pages10
JournalCerebellum
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • ADI
  • ADOS
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Crus II
  • DARTELVBM
  • Vermis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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