Differential effects on white-matter systems in high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome

  title={Differential effects on white-matter systems in high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome},
  author={Gr{\'a}inne M. McAlonan and Charlton Cheung and Vinci Cheung and Nk Wong and John Suckling and Siew E. Chua},
  journal={Psychological Medicine},
  pages={1885 - 1893}
Background Whether autism spectrum maps onto a spectrum of brain abnormalities and whether Asperger's syndrome (ASP) is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA) are debated. White-matter maldevelopment is associated with autism and disconnectivity theories of autism are compelling. However, it is unknown whether children with ASP and HFA have distinct white-matter abnormalities. Method Voxel-based morphometry mapped white-matter volumes across the whole brain in 91 children. Thirty-six had… 

Anatomy and aging of the amygdala and hippocampus in autism spectrum disorder: an in vivo magnetic resonance imaging study of Asperger syndrome

  • C. MurphyQ. Deeley D. Murphy
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research
  • 2012
Individuals with Asperger syndrome have significant differences from controls in bulk volume and aging of the amygdala, and there was a significant group difference in aging of left amygdala.

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Relationship Between Surface‐Based Brain Morphometric Measures and Intelligence in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Influence of History of Language Delay

  • J. BalardinJ. Sato C. Ecker
  • Psychology
    Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research
  • 2015
The results indicate that ASD subgroups defined on the basis of differential language trajectories in childhood can have different associations between verbal IQ and brain measures in adulthood despite achieving similar levels of cognitive performance.

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Findings highlight the importance of specific cerebellar networks in both ASD and early language development, and suggest that bilateral disruption in cerebellary regions that interconnect with fronto‐parietal networks could impact language acquisition in ASD.

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The presence of language problems in the subjects with AS at age 10, the comparable degree of motor impairment and level of psychosocial adaptation question the validity of the distinction between AS and HFA within the category of pervasive developmental disorders.

Behavioral, Cognitive and Neural Markers of Asperger Syndrome

Behavior, motor skills and language capabilities of individuals with Asperger are compared to those in healthy controls and common findings across MRI and fMRI based studies associated with behavior and cognitive disabilities are highlighted.



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The study suggests that the underlying neurobiology in HFA and Asperger's syndrome is at least partly discrete, and future studies should consider the history of language acquisition as a valuable tool to refine investigation of aetiological factors and management options in pervasive developmental disorders.

White matter fractional anisotrophy differences and correlates of diagnostic symptoms in autism.

The data support the position that diagnostic symptoms of autism are associated with a core disruption of white matter development and a tight correlation between lower FA and higher ADI-R diagnostic algorithm scores across white matter tracts extending from these focal regions of group difference.

Mapping the brain in autism. A voxel-based MRI study of volumetric differences and intercorrelations in autism.

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Outcome in High-Functioning Adults with Autism with and Without Early Language Delays: Implications for the Differentiation Between Autism and Asperger Syndrome

  • P. Howlin
  • Psychology
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders
  • 2003
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Lateralization in Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder: A Frontostriatal Model

It was suggested that the period where dominance shifts from right to left hemisphere is important in whatever process might dictate the emergence of either autism or Asperger's disorder.

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Cortical Folding Abnormalities in Autism Revealed by Surface-Based Morphometry

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Brain asymmetries in autism and developmental language disorder: a nested whole-brain analysis.

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