Reduced Gyrification Is Related to Reduced Interhemispheric Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorders Articles uri icon

authors

  • BOS, DIENKE J.
  • MERCHAN-NARANJO, JESSICA
  • MARTINEZ RODRIGUEZ, KENIA
  • PINA-CAMACHO, LAURA
  • BALSA LOZANO, IVAN
  • BOADA, LETICIA
  • SCHNACK, HUGO
  • ORANJE, BOB
  • DESCO MENENDEZ, MANUEL
  • ARANGO, CELSO
  • PARELLADA, MARIA DOLORES
  • DURSTON, SARAH
  • JANSSEN, JOOST

publication date

  • August 2015

start page

  • 668

end page

  • 676

issue

  • 8

volume

  • 54

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 0890-8567

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1527-5418

abstract

  • Objective: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been associated with atypical cortical gray and subcortical white matter development. Neurodevelopmental theories postulate that a relation between cortical maturation and structural brain connectivity may exist. We therefore investigated the development of gyrification and white matter connectivity and their relationship in individuals with ASD and their typically developing peers. Method: Ti- and diffusion-weighted images were acquired from a representative sample of 30 children and adolescents with ASD (aged 8-18 years), and 29 typically developing children matched for age, sex, hand preference, and socioeconomic status. The Free Surfer suite was used to calculate cortical volume, surface area, and gyrification index. Measures of structural connectivity were estimated using probabilistic tractography and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Results: Left prefrontal and parietal cortex showed a relative, age-dependent decrease in gyrification index in children and adolescents with ASD compared to typically developing controls. This result was replicated in an age-and IQ-matched sample provided by the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE) initiative. Furthermore, tractography and TBSS showed a complementary pattern in which left prefrontal gyrification was negatively related to radial diffusivity in the forceps minor in participants with ASD. Conclusion: The present study builds on earlier findings of abnormal gyrification and structural connectivity in the prefrontal cortex in ASD. It provides a more comprehensive neurodevelopmental characterization of ASD, involving interdependent changes in microstructural white and cortical gray matter. The findings of related abnormal patterns of gyrification and white matter connectivity support the notion of the intertwined development of 2 major morphometric domains in ASD.