Tracing back to the onset of abnormal head circumference growth in Italian children with autism spectrum disorder

Filippo Muratori, Sara Calderoni, Fabio Apicella, Tiziana Filippi, Elisa Santocchi, Simona Calugi, Angela Cosenza, Raffaella Tancredi, Antonio Narzisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This retrospective study aims to describe head circumference (HC) developmental course during the first year of life in 50 Italian children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in a control group of 100 typically developing children (TD). To this end, we use anthropometric measurements (HC, body height, body weight) obtained at birth (T0), 1-2 months (T1), 3-5 months (T2) and 6-12 months (T3) from paediatricians and reported in the infant's 'baby book'. Data indicate that at T2 and T3 HC was significantly greater in ASD group compared to TD, while from T1 weight was significantly smaller in ASD subjects compared to healthy infants. After controlling for weight and height, ASD HC shows an excessive rate of growth from birth. The abnormal HC growth is present in the majority of infants with ASD and could represent a biomarker that together with other clinical signs might promote an early ASD identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-449
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Biomarker
  • Children
  • Head circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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