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Neuroimage. 2005 Jan 15;24(2):455-61.

Structural white matter deficits in high-functioning individuals with autistic spectrum disorder: a voxel-based investigation.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK. g.waiter@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

A number of imaging and neuropathological studies have reported structural abnormalities in white matter areas such as the corpus callosum in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Differences in both global brain volume and the size of specific neural structures have been reported. In order to expand these previously reported findings and to describe more precisely the nature of such structural changes, we performed a voxel-based morphometric whole brain analysis, using a group-specific template, in male adolescents with ASD. Fifteen individuals with normal intelligence and ASD, and a group of 16 controls, matched for age, sex, and IQ, were investigated. High-resolution T1-weighted 3D data sets were acquired and analysed. Local white matter volume deficits were found in the corpus callosum, particularly in the anterior splenium and isthmus, and right hemisphere. White matter volume deficits were also found in the left middle temporal, right middle frontal, and left superior frontal gyri. No significant areas of increased white matter volume were found. Our findings support the hypothesis that reduced white matter volume in the corpus callosum and right hemisphere may play a role in the pathophysiology of ASD.

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