Results from both our laboratory and others indicate that macrocephaly is present in 14-26% of children and adults with idiopathic autism. MRl studies and post mortem studies of brain weight suggest that macrocephaly in autism is due to megalencephaly, abnormal enlargement of the brain. Results from our laboratory indicate that in autistic individuals unselected for head size, brain size is increased due to increased volume of the parietal, temporal and occipital (i.e., posterior) lobes. Relative to total brain volume the size of the corpus callosum is disproportionately decreased. Additional data suggest that cortical enlargement is predominantly right-sided. MR studies from other centers support the validity of these findings.- Neuropsychological and neurobiological evidence now suggest that autism is a disorder of a complex distributed neural network resulting in anomalous brain organization and connectivity. The finding of megalencephaly in autism suggests that abnormalities of cellular proliferation or programmed cell death are also involved. The overall goal of this application is to build on our previous work in structural imaging and genetics by exploring abnormalities in brain size and shape in autistic individuals with megalencephaly and by examining the significance of these abnormalities for the pathogenesis of this disorder. We propose to: 1) examine anomalous patterns of growth and organization in autistic individuals with megalencephaly as evidenced by abnormalities in the relationship between (a) anterior and posterior cortical brain volume, (b) cortical and corpus callosum size, (c) gray and white matter volume, and, (d) right- and left-sided cortical lobe volumes; 2) explore developmental mechanisms that may underlie brain enlargement in autism by examining the trajectory of changes in head circumference overtime; 3) examine heterogeneity in the syndrome of autism by exploring the relationship between brain size and shape abnormalities on MRI to clinical features associated with autism including behavioral and neuropsychological characteristics.

Project Start
1997-06-01
Project End
1998-05-31
Budget Start
1996-10-01
Budget End
1997-09-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
1997
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Utah
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Salt Lake City
State
UT
Country
United States
Zip Code
84112
Prigge, Molly D; Bigler, Erin D; Fletcher, P Thomas et al. (2013) Longitudinal Heschl's gyrus growth during childhood and adolescence in typical development and autism. Autism Res 6:78-90
Lange, Nicholas; Dubray, Molly B; Lee, Jee Eun et al. (2010) Atypical diffusion tensor hemispheric asymmetry in autism. Autism Res 3:350-8
Chung, Moo K; Adluru, Nagesh; Lee, Jee Eun et al. (2010) Cosine series representation of 3D curves and its application to white matter fiber bundles in diffusion tensor imaging. Stat Interface 3:69-80
Glessner, Joseph T; Wang, Kai; Cai, Guiqing et al. (2009) Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes. Nature 459:569-73
Mazefsky, Carla A; Folstein, Susan E; Lainhart, Janet E (2008) Overrepresentation of mood and anxiety disorders in adults with autism and their first-degree relatives: what does it mean? Autism Res 1:193-7
South, Mikle; Ozonoff, Sally; Suchy, Yana et al. (2008) Intact emotion facilitation for nonsocial stimuli in autism: is amygdala impairment in autism specific for social information? J Int Neuropsychol Soc 14:42-54
Dominick, Kelli C; Davis, Naomi Ornstein; Lainhart, Janet et al. (2007) Atypical behaviors in children with autism and children with a history of language impairment. Res Dev Disabil 28:145-62
Leyfer, Ovsanna T; Folstein, Susan E; Bacalman, Susan et al. (2006) Comorbid psychiatric disorders in children with autism: interview development and rates of disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 36:849-61
Devlin, B; Cook Jr, E H; Coon, H et al. (2005) Autism and the serotonin transporter: the long and short of it. Mol Psychiatry 10:1110-6
Odell, Dennis; Maciulis, Alma; Cutler, Adele et al. (2005) Confirmation of the association of the C4B null allelle in autism. Hum Immunol 66:140-5

Showing the most recent 10 out of 17 publications