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Autism and sensory processing disorders: shared white matter disruption in sensory pathways but divergent connectivity in social-emotional pathways.

Chang YS, Owen JP, Desai SS, Hill SS, Arnett AB, Harris J, Marco EJ, Mukherjee P - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children.Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration.These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Over 90% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) demonstrate atypical sensory behaviors. In fact, hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment is now included in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children. We previously demonstrated that children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) have impaired white matter microstructure, and that this white matter microstructural pathology correlates with atypical sensory behavior. In this study, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tractography to evaluate the structural connectivity of specific white matter tracts in boys with ASD (n = 15) and boys with SPD (n = 16), relative to typically developing children (n = 23). We define white matter tracts using probabilistic streamline tractography and assess the strength of tract connectivity using mean fractional anisotropy. Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration. However, the ASD group alone shows impaired connectivity, relative to controls, in temporal tracts thought to subserve social-emotional processing. In addition to these group difference analyses, we take a dimensional approach to assessing the relationship between white matter connectivity and participant function. These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups. These findings help elucidate the roles of specific neural circuits in neurodevelopmental disorders, and begin to explore the dimensional relationship between critical cognitive functions and structural connectivity across affected and unaffected children.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Combined-group associations between tract connectivity and WMI.The two bilateral tracts demonstrating significant associations between FA and WMI after FDR correction are displayed. Optic radiation: r = 0.41, p = 0.003. PCR (occipital): r = 0.49, p<0.001. Results of unilateral and individual group correlations are displayed in Table 7.
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pone-0103038-g005: Combined-group associations between tract connectivity and WMI.The two bilateral tracts demonstrating significant associations between FA and WMI after FDR correction are displayed. Optic radiation: r = 0.41, p = 0.003. PCR (occipital): r = 0.49, p<0.001. Results of unilateral and individual group correlations are displayed in Table 7.

Mentions: Significant combined-group correlations were found between WMI and the bilateral optic radiations (r = 0.41, p = 0.003) as well as the bilateral PCR (occipital) (r = 0.49, p<0.001) (Figure 5). These tracts both demonstrate left lateralized associations for the combined groups. The SPD cohort alone demonstrates significant individual-group associations between WMI and FA in both of these bilateral tracts, while ASD demonstrates significant or trend-level associations (Table 7).


Autism and sensory processing disorders: shared white matter disruption in sensory pathways but divergent connectivity in social-emotional pathways.

Chang YS, Owen JP, Desai SS, Hill SS, Arnett AB, Harris J, Marco EJ, Mukherjee P - PLoS ONE (2014)

Combined-group associations between tract connectivity and WMI.The two bilateral tracts demonstrating significant associations between FA and WMI after FDR correction are displayed. Optic radiation: r = 0.41, p = 0.003. PCR (occipital): r = 0.49, p<0.001. Results of unilateral and individual group correlations are displayed in Table 7.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4116166&req=5

pone-0103038-g005: Combined-group associations between tract connectivity and WMI.The two bilateral tracts demonstrating significant associations between FA and WMI after FDR correction are displayed. Optic radiation: r = 0.41, p = 0.003. PCR (occipital): r = 0.49, p<0.001. Results of unilateral and individual group correlations are displayed in Table 7.
Mentions: Significant combined-group correlations were found between WMI and the bilateral optic radiations (r = 0.41, p = 0.003) as well as the bilateral PCR (occipital) (r = 0.49, p<0.001) (Figure 5). These tracts both demonstrate left lateralized associations for the combined groups. The SPD cohort alone demonstrates significant individual-group associations between WMI and FA in both of these bilateral tracts, while ASD demonstrates significant or trend-level associations (Table 7).

Bottom Line: However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children.Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration.These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Over 90% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) demonstrate atypical sensory behaviors. In fact, hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment is now included in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children. We previously demonstrated that children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) have impaired white matter microstructure, and that this white matter microstructural pathology correlates with atypical sensory behavior. In this study, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tractography to evaluate the structural connectivity of specific white matter tracts in boys with ASD (n = 15) and boys with SPD (n = 16), relative to typically developing children (n = 23). We define white matter tracts using probabilistic streamline tractography and assess the strength of tract connectivity using mean fractional anisotropy. Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration. However, the ASD group alone shows impaired connectivity, relative to controls, in temporal tracts thought to subserve social-emotional processing. In addition to these group difference analyses, we take a dimensional approach to assessing the relationship between white matter connectivity and participant function. These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups. These findings help elucidate the roles of specific neural circuits in neurodevelopmental disorders, and begin to explore the dimensional relationship between critical cognitive functions and structural connectivity across affected and unaffected children.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus