Poster F12, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Select Surface-Based Morphometry Predicts Autism Symptom Severity
Hakeem Brooks1, Taylor Wilson1, David Anderson1, Tracey A. Knaus2, Helen Tager-Flusberg3, Jeremy D. Cohen1; 1Xavier University of Louisiana, 2Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, 3Boston University School of Medicine
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social and communicative deficits. Previous research has focused on unearthing physical brain changes that occur in the disorder using various surface based metrics. However, there exists conflict between the results and the implications of them. The current study attempts to add to the field in an attempt to reach a consensus. The current sample included 69 children with ASD. A multiple regression was performed using regional cortical thickness and area as predictors and ADOS Social and Communication Score as the outcome variables. It was found that increases in the thickness of the left pars triangularis (PT) and right superior temporal sulcus (STS) and increases in the area of the left STS, right rostral anterior cingulated (RAC) and frontal pole (FP) were associated with statistically significant increases in ADOS social scores. Increases in the thickness of the right fusiform gyrus and in the area of the left STS, right RAC, and right FP were associated with statistically significant increases in ADOS communication scores. The PT, STS, RAC and FP are known to be implicated in language functioning, social perception, and goal-directed behaviors respectively. Over development in these areas may indicate dysregulation of age-dependent biological mechanisms responsible for brain development in children with ASD. The interaction between these areas may also indicate that functional reorganization of the brain occurs as a compensatory mechanism for developmental differences in children with ASD.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding