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Brain Imaging Behav. 2017 Dec;11(6):1823-1835. doi: 10.1007/s11682-016-9648-9.

Diametrical relationship between gray and white matter volumes in autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY, 10029, USA. serge.mitelman@mssm.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Elmhurst Hospital Center, 79-01 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY, 11373, USA. serge.mitelman@mssm.edu.
3
Crisalid Unit (FJ5), CHI Clermont de l'Oise, 2 rue des finets, 60607, Clermont, France.
4
Inserm Unit U669, Maison de Solenn, Universities Paris 5-11, 75014, Paris, France.
5
GDR 3557 Recherche Psychiatrie, Paris, France.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY, 10029, USA.
7
Outpatient Psychiatry Care Center, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 10468, USA.
8
Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program, Anxiety and Depression Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 10467, USA.
9
Research and Development and VISN 3 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 10468, USA.
10
Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology, San Diego School of Medicine, NeuroPET Center, University of California, 11388 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite #100, San Diego, CA, 92121, USA.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia have been variously characterized as separate nosological entities with overlapping deficits in social cognition or diametrical extremes of a phenotypic continuum. This study aimed to determine how these models apply to comparative morphometric data. MRI scans of the brain were obtained in 49 subjects with schizophrenia, 20 subjects with autism and 39 healthy controls. Images were parcellated into 40 Brodmann areas and entered into repeated-measures ANOVA for between-group comparison of global and localized gray and white matter volumes. A pattern of lower gray mater volumes and greater white matter volumes was found in subjects with schizophrenia in comparison to subjects with autism. For both gray and white matter, this pattern was most pronounced in regions associated with motor-premotor and anterior frontal cortex, anterior cingulate, fusiform, superior and middle temporal gyri. Patient groups tended to diverge from healthy controls in opposite directions, with greater-than-normal gray matter volumes and lower-than-normal white matter volumes in subjects with autism and reversed patterns in subjects with schizophrenia. White matter reductions in subjects with autism were seen in posterior frontal lobe and along the cingulate arch. Normal hemispheric asymmetry in the temporal lobe was effaced in subjects with autism and schizophrenia, especially in the latter. Nearly identical distribution of changes and diametrically divergent volumetry suggest that autism and schizophrenia may occupy opposite extremes of the same cognitive continuum.

KEYWORDS:

Asperger’s disorder; Autism spectrum disorder; Diametrical trade-off diseases; MRI; Schizophrenia; White matter

PMID:
27882449
DOI:
10.1007/s11682-016-9648-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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