Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life

Jason J. Wolff, Guido Gerig, John D. Lewis, Takahiro Soda, Martin A. Styner, Clement Vachet, Kelly N. Botteron, Jed T. Elison, Stephen R. Dager, Annette M. Estes, Heather C. Hazlett, Robert T. Schultz, Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Joseph Piven

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Numerous brain imaging studies indicate that the corpus callosum is smaller in older children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. However, there are no published studies examining the morphological development of this connective pathway in infants at-risk for the disorder. Magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 270 infants at high familial risk for autism spectrum disorder and 108 low-risk controls at 6, 12 and 24 months of age, with 83% of infants contributing two or more data points. Fifty-seven children met criteria for ASD based on clinical-best estimate diagnosis at age 2 years. Corpora callosa were measured for area, length and thickness by automated segmentation. We found significantly increased corpus callosum area and thickness in children with autism spectrum disorder starting at 6 months of age. These differences were particularly robust in the anterior corpus callosum at the 6 and 12 month time points. Regression analysis indicated that radial diffusivity in this region, measured by diffusion tensor imaging, inversely predicted thickness. Measures of area and thickness in the first year of life were correlated with repetitive behaviours at age 2 years. In contrast to work from older children and adults, our findings suggest that the corpus callosum may be larger in infants who go on to develop autism spectrum disorder. This result was apparent with or without adjustment for total brain volume. Although we did not see a significant interaction between group and age, cross-sectional data indicated that area and thickness differences diminish by age 2 years. Regression data incorporating diffusion tensor imaging suggest that microstructural properties of callosal white matter, which includes myelination and axon composition, may explain group differences in morphology.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2046-2058
    Number of pages13
    JournalBrain
    Volume138
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    Corpus Callosum
    Autistic Disorder
    Diffusion Tensor Imaging
    Neuroimaging
    Axons
    Autism
    Age Groups
    Regression Analysis
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Thickness
    Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Brain

    Keywords

    • autism
    • brain development
    • corpus callosum
    • infants

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Neurology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Wolff, J. J., Gerig, G., Lewis, J. D., Soda, T., Styner, M. A., Vachet, C., ... Piven, J. (2015). Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life. Brain, 138(7), 2046-2058. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv118

    Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life. / Wolff, Jason J.; Gerig, Guido; Lewis, John D.; Soda, Takahiro; Styner, Martin A.; Vachet, Clement; Botteron, Kelly N.; Elison, Jed T.; Dager, Stephen R.; Estes, Annette M.; Hazlett, Heather C.; Schultz, Robert T.; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Piven, Joseph.

    In: Brain, Vol. 138, No. 7, 01.07.2015, p. 2046-2058.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Wolff, JJ, Gerig, G, Lewis, JD, Soda, T, Styner, MA, Vachet, C, Botteron, KN, Elison, JT, Dager, SR, Estes, AM, Hazlett, HC, Schultz, RT, Zwaigenbaum, L & Piven, J 2015, 'Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life', Brain, vol. 138, no. 7, pp. 2046-2058. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv118
    Wolff JJ, Gerig G, Lewis JD, Soda T, Styner MA, Vachet C et al. Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life. Brain. 2015 Jul 1;138(7):2046-2058. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv118
    Wolff, Jason J. ; Gerig, Guido ; Lewis, John D. ; Soda, Takahiro ; Styner, Martin A. ; Vachet, Clement ; Botteron, Kelly N. ; Elison, Jed T. ; Dager, Stephen R. ; Estes, Annette M. ; Hazlett, Heather C. ; Schultz, Robert T. ; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie ; Piven, Joseph. / Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life. In: Brain. 2015 ; Vol. 138, No. 7. pp. 2046-2058.
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