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J Autism Dev Disord. 2017 Dec;47(12):3682-3691. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3206-1.

Amygdala Volume Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder Are Related to Anxiety.

Author information

1
Center for Autism Research, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market Street, Suite 860, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. herringtonj@email.chop.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. herringtonj@email.chop.edu.
3
Center for Autism Research, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market Street, Suite 860, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
4
AJ Drexel Autism Institute & Community Health & Prevention, School of Public Health, Drexel University, 3020 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
5
Center for Health Innovation, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, 11530, USA.
6
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.
7
SPIN Inc, 10521 Drummond Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19154, USA.
8
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, 1101 E. 10th Street, Bloomington, IN, 47405, USA.
9
Department of Psychology, Marquette University, PO Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI, 53233, USA.
10
Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market Street, Suite 860, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that longstanding findings of abnormal amygdala morphology in ASD may be related to symptoms of anxiety. To test this hypothesis, fifty-three children with ASD (mean age = 11.9) underwent structural MRI and were divided into subgroups to compare those with at least one anxiety disorder diagnosis (n = 29) to those without (n = 24) and to a typically developing control group (TDC; n = 37). Groups were matched on age and intellectual level. The ASD and anxiety group showed decreased right amygdala volume (controlled for total brain volume) relative to ASD without anxiety (p = .04) and TDCs (p = .068). Results suggest that youth with ASD and co-occurring anxiety have a distinct neurodevelopmental trajectory.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Anxiety disorders; Brain morphometry; Comorbidity

PMID:
28689329
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-017-3206-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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