No differences in MR-based volumetry between 2- and 7-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay.
until further notice
SourceBrain & Development, 31, 10, (2009), pp. 725-730
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Memory and Emotion
F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Brain & Development
Subject110 012 Social cognition of verbal communication; DCN 1: Perception and Action; NCEBP 9: Mental health
OBJECTIVE: To study brain volumes in children with ASD as compared to children with a mental retardation or a language delay (developmentally delayed). In addition, to study the association of intellectual functioning on brain volumes in children with ASD or developmental delay. METHODS: Thirty-four children with ASD and 13 developmentally delayed children without ASD, between 2 and 7 years old, matched on age and developmental level, participated in a MRI study. Volumes of cranium, total brain, cerebellum, grey and white matter, ventricles, hippocampus and amygdala were measured. RESULTS: No significant differences in volumes of intracranium, total brain, ventricles, cerebellum, grey or white matter or amygdala and hippocampus between the ASD group and the developmentally delayed group were found. In the developmentally delayed group, a significant correlation (0.73) was found between intellectual functioning and total brain volume after partialling out intracranial volume. In the ASD group, the correlation between intellectual functioning and brain volume corrected for intracranial volume was not significant. CONCLUSION: No evidence was found for overall differences in brain volumes in children with ASD compared to developmentally delayed children between 2 and 7 years. The finding that higher intellectual functioning was not associated with a relative larger brain volume in children with ASD may suggest that a relative enlargement of the brain may not be beneficial to patients with autism.
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