Media Highlights

Current events, news topics, research articles, or other recent developments related to health, development, and behavior in children.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Brain surface growth may predict autism in high-risk infants

​In a recent article published in the journal Nature, researchers participating in the Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network analyzed longitudinal data of high-risk infants diagnosed with autism at 24 months and compared them to data in high-risk and low risk infants without autism at 24 months. Data included behavioral measures of autism symptoms and social communication (ADOS and CSBS) and high-resolution brain MRI measures of total brain volume, cortical surface area, and cortical thickness at ages 6, 12, and 24 months. Using a deep-learning algorithm arising from the data, the group was able to predict which infants would develop autism at 24 months based on their pattern of cortical surface area change between 6-12 months of age. Hyperexpansion of the cortical surface, particularly in those areas linked to processing of sensory information (biltateral middle occipital gyri, right cuneus, right ligual gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus) between 6-12 months of age and brain overgrowth (as measured by total brain volume) between 12-24 months both correlated with ASD diagnosis, autism symptoms severity, and social communication deficits at 24 months. Neuroscience News​