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Psychiatry Res. 2004 Sep 15;131(3):263-8.

Increased frontal cortical folding in autism: a preliminary MRI study.

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Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


The gyrification index (GI), the ratio of total to outer cortical contour, was applied to measure the cerebral folding patterns in autism. GI was examined on a frontal coronal slice obtained from MRI scans of 30 nonmentally retarded individuals with autism and 32 matched healthy controls. In the autistic group, left frontal GI was higher in children and adolescents but not in adults. Cortical folding was decreased bilaterally with age in the total autistic sample but not in controls. These preliminary findings suggest that the gyrification patterns in autism may be abnormal, which could be related to the various cortical anomalies observed in this disorder.

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