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Brain-imaging differences evident at 6 months in infants who develop autism
Date:2/16/2012

m disorders while 64 infants (70 percent) did not. The two groups differed in white matter fiber tract development pathways that connect brain regions as measured by fractional anisotropy (FA). FA measures white matter organization and development, based on the movement of water molecules through brain tissue.

This study examined 15 separate fiber tracts, and found significant differences in FA trajectories in 12 of the 15 tracts between infants who did develop autism versus infants who did not. Infants who later developed autism had elevated FA at six months but then experienced slower change over time. By 24 months of age, infants with autism had lower FA values than infants without autism.

"This evidence, which implicates multiple fiber pathways, suggests that autism is a whole-brain phenomenon not isolated to any particular brain region," Wolff said.


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Contact: Tom Hughes
tahughes@unch.unc.edu
919-966-6047
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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