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Neurocase. 2010 Aug;16(4):307-16. doi: 10.1080/13554790903559671. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

fMRI tracks reductions in repetitive behaviors in autism: two case studies.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3366, USA. dichter@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Autism is characterized by abnormal prefrontal brain activation during cognitive control, a potential biomarker of repetitive behaviors. In this proof-of-principle study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine brain activity during an oddball task in two high-functioning males with autism before and after 12 weeks of treatment with citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. One participant showed marked reductions in repetitive behaviors whereas the other showed mild worsening. Brain activation in relevant prefrontal regions increased in only the participant whose repetitive behavior symptoms improved. These findings suggest that fMRI may elucidate potential mechanisms of action of targeted autism interventions.

PMID:
20178033
PMCID:
PMC3709853
DOI:
10.1080/13554790903559671
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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