Autism Changes Brain’s White Matter over Time

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Researchers at Yale University analyzing specialized MRI exams found significant changes in the microstructure of the brain’s white matter in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to a control group, according to research being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). The changes were most pronounced in the region that facilitates communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. “One in 68 children in the U.S. is affected by ASD, but high variety in symptom manifestation and severity make it hard to recognize the condition early and monitor treatment response,” said Clara Weber, postgraduate research fellow at Yale University School of Medicine. “We aim to find neuroimaging biomarkers that can potentially facilitate diagnosis and therapy planning.” Researchers reviewed diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) brain scans from a large dataset of patients between the age of six months and 50 years. DTI is an MRI technique that measures connectivity in the brain by detecting how water moves along its white matter tracts. Water molecules diffuse differently through the brain, depending on the integrity, architecture and presence of barriers in tissue. “If you think […]

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