Precentral gyrus functional connectivity signatures of autism.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24860442
Author: 
Mostofsky SH
Author List: 
Nebel MB
Eloyan A
Barber AD
Mostofsky SH
Journal: 
Front Syst Neurosci
PubMed ID: 
24860442
Pagination: 
80
Volume: 
8
Abstract: 
Motor impairments are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and are perhaps the earliest symptoms to develop. In addition, motor skills relate to the communicative/social deficits at the core of ASD diagnosis, and these behavioral deficits may reflect abnormal connectivity within brain networks underlying motor control and learning. Despite the fact that motor abnormalities in ASD are well-characterized, there remains a fundamental disconnect between the complexity of the clinical presentation of ASD and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. In this study, we examined connectivity within and between functional subregions of a key component of the motor control network, the precentral gyrus, using resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data collected from a large, heterogeneous sample of individuals with ASD as well as neurotypical controls. We found that the strength of connectivity within and between distinct functional subregions of the precentral gyrus was related to ASD diagnosis and to the severity of ASD traits. In particular, connectivity involving the dorsomedial (lower limb/trunk) subregion was abnormal in ASD individuals as predicted by models using a dichotomous variable coding for the presence of ASD, as well as models using symptom severity ratings. These findings provide further support for a link between motor and social/communicative abilities in ASD.
Published Date: 
January, 2014

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