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Cereb Cortex. 2010 Sep;20(9):2103-13. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhp278. Epub 2009 Dec 17.

Alterations in frontal lobe tracts and corpus callosum in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

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Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Major frontal lobe tracts and corpus callosum (CC) were investigated in 32 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, mean age: 5 years), 12 nonautistic developmentally impaired children (DI, mean age: 4.6 years), and 16 typically developing children (TD, mean age: 5.5 years) using diffusion tensor imaging tractography and tract-based spatial statistics. Various diffusion and geometric properties were calculated for uncinate fasciculus (UF), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFO), arcuate fasciculus (AF), cingulum (Cg), CC, and corticospinal tract. Fractional anisotropy was lower in the right UF, right Cg and CC in ASD and DI children; in right AF in ASD children; and in bilateral IFO in DI children, compared with TD children. Apparent diffusion coefficient was increased in right AF in both ASD and DI children. The ASD group showed shorter length of left UF and increased length, volume, and density of right UF; increased length and density of CC; and higher density of left Cg, compared with the TD group. Compared with DI group, ASD group had increased length, volume, and density of right UF; higher volume of left UF; and increased length of right AF and CC. Volume of bilateral UF and right AF and fiber density of left UF were positively associated with autistic features.

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