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Cerebellar gray matter and lobular volumes correlate with core autism symptoms.

D'Mello AM, Crocetti D, Mostofsky SH, Stoodley CJ - Neuroimage Clin (2015)

Bottom Line: Both VBM and the SUIT analyses revealed reduced GM in ASD children in cerebellar lobule VII (Crus I/II).The degree of regional and lobular gray matter reductions in different cerebellar subregions correlated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.These results emphasize the importance of the location within the cerebellum to the potential functional impact of structural differences in ASD, and suggest that GM differences in cerebellar right Crus I/II are associated with the core ASD profile.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Developmental Neuroscience Lab, Department of Psychology and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, American University, Washington, DC, USA.

ABSTRACT
Neuroanatomical differences in the cerebellum are among the most consistent findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but little is known about the relationship between cerebellar dysfunction and core ASD symptoms. The newly-emerging existence of cerebellar sensorimotor and cognitive subregions provides a new framework for interpreting the functional significance of cerebellar findings in ASD. Here we use two complementary analyses - whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and the SUIT cerebellar atlas - to investigate cerebellar regional gray matter (GM) and volumetric lobular measurements in 35 children with ASD and 35 typically-developing (TD) children (mean age 10.4 ± 1.6 years; range 8-13 years). To examine the relationships between cerebellar structure and core ASD symptoms, correlations were calculated between scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI) and the VBM and volumetric data. Both VBM and the SUIT analyses revealed reduced GM in ASD children in cerebellar lobule VII (Crus I/II). The degree of regional and lobular gray matter reductions in different cerebellar subregions correlated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Structural differences and behavioral correlations converged on right cerebellar Crus I/II, a region which shows structural and functional connectivity with fronto-parietal and default mode networks. These results emphasize the importance of the location within the cerebellum to the potential functional impact of structural differences in ASD, and suggest that GM differences in cerebellar right Crus I/II are associated with the core ASD profile.

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The human cerebellum with lobules I–X color-coded. From the spatially unbiased infratentorial template [SUIT] of the cerebellum and brainstem (Diedrichsen et al., 2009; Diedrichsen, 2006).
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f0005: The human cerebellum with lobules I–X color-coded. From the spatially unbiased infratentorial template [SUIT] of the cerebellum and brainstem (Diedrichsen et al., 2009; Diedrichsen, 2006).

Mentions: Anatomically, the cerebellum is divided into ten lobules (lobules I–X) and three lobes: the anterior lobe (lobules I–V), the posterior lobe (lobules VI–IX), and the flocculonodular lobe (lobule X; Fig. 1). Anatomical, clinical, and neuroimaging studies support the idea that regions within the cerebellum have functionally distinct roles in movement, cognition and affective processing (Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2010). Somatomotor representations of the body are found in the anterior lobe and lobule VIII, which interconnect with sensorimotor areas of the cerebral cortex and are engaged during sensorimotor tasks (Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2010). The large posterior lobe, including lobules VI and VII (which is subdivided into Crus I, Crus II and VIIB), receives input from prefrontal and parietal association areas and is engaged during cognitive tasks (Strick et al., 2009). Recent functional connectivity data show that the majority of the cerebellum is functionally connected to association networks involved in cognitive and affective processes, rather than somatomotor networks (Buckner et al., 2011). Clinical outcomes also reflect the topography seen in healthy controls, as lesions involving posterior regions of cerebellum can lead to difficulties in executive functioning, language, memory and affect, while damage to the anterior cerebellum can result in motor impairments with minimal cognitive effects (Schmahmann and Sherman, 1998). Based on these data, the putative role of the human cerebellum has been expanded to include higher order cognitive and affective processes (Ito, 2008; Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2009; Strick et al., 2009). The unique patterns of connectivity of different cerebellar subregions result in a functional topography, whereby different regions process different types of information (Stoodley, 2012; Strick et al., 2009). This topography is of importance when considering the localization of cerebellar structural and functional differences in ASD, and may be beneficial in the interpretation of cerebellar findings in ASD.


Cerebellar gray matter and lobular volumes correlate with core autism symptoms.

D'Mello AM, Crocetti D, Mostofsky SH, Stoodley CJ - Neuroimage Clin (2015)

The human cerebellum with lobules I–X color-coded. From the spatially unbiased infratentorial template [SUIT] of the cerebellum and brainstem (Diedrichsen et al., 2009; Diedrichsen, 2006).
© Copyright Policy - CC BY-NC-ND
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4375648&req=5

f0005: The human cerebellum with lobules I–X color-coded. From the spatially unbiased infratentorial template [SUIT] of the cerebellum and brainstem (Diedrichsen et al., 2009; Diedrichsen, 2006).
Mentions: Anatomically, the cerebellum is divided into ten lobules (lobules I–X) and three lobes: the anterior lobe (lobules I–V), the posterior lobe (lobules VI–IX), and the flocculonodular lobe (lobule X; Fig. 1). Anatomical, clinical, and neuroimaging studies support the idea that regions within the cerebellum have functionally distinct roles in movement, cognition and affective processing (Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2010). Somatomotor representations of the body are found in the anterior lobe and lobule VIII, which interconnect with sensorimotor areas of the cerebral cortex and are engaged during sensorimotor tasks (Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2010). The large posterior lobe, including lobules VI and VII (which is subdivided into Crus I, Crus II and VIIB), receives input from prefrontal and parietal association areas and is engaged during cognitive tasks (Strick et al., 2009). Recent functional connectivity data show that the majority of the cerebellum is functionally connected to association networks involved in cognitive and affective processes, rather than somatomotor networks (Buckner et al., 2011). Clinical outcomes also reflect the topography seen in healthy controls, as lesions involving posterior regions of cerebellum can lead to difficulties in executive functioning, language, memory and affect, while damage to the anterior cerebellum can result in motor impairments with minimal cognitive effects (Schmahmann and Sherman, 1998). Based on these data, the putative role of the human cerebellum has been expanded to include higher order cognitive and affective processes (Ito, 2008; Stoodley and Schmahmann, 2009; Strick et al., 2009). The unique patterns of connectivity of different cerebellar subregions result in a functional topography, whereby different regions process different types of information (Stoodley, 2012; Strick et al., 2009). This topography is of importance when considering the localization of cerebellar structural and functional differences in ASD, and may be beneficial in the interpretation of cerebellar findings in ASD.

Bottom Line: Both VBM and the SUIT analyses revealed reduced GM in ASD children in cerebellar lobule VII (Crus I/II).The degree of regional and lobular gray matter reductions in different cerebellar subregions correlated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors.These results emphasize the importance of the location within the cerebellum to the potential functional impact of structural differences in ASD, and suggest that GM differences in cerebellar right Crus I/II are associated with the core ASD profile.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Developmental Neuroscience Lab, Department of Psychology and Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, American University, Washington, DC, USA.

ABSTRACT
Neuroanatomical differences in the cerebellum are among the most consistent findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but little is known about the relationship between cerebellar dysfunction and core ASD symptoms. The newly-emerging existence of cerebellar sensorimotor and cognitive subregions provides a new framework for interpreting the functional significance of cerebellar findings in ASD. Here we use two complementary analyses - whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and the SUIT cerebellar atlas - to investigate cerebellar regional gray matter (GM) and volumetric lobular measurements in 35 children with ASD and 35 typically-developing (TD) children (mean age 10.4 ± 1.6 years; range 8-13 years). To examine the relationships between cerebellar structure and core ASD symptoms, correlations were calculated between scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI) and the VBM and volumetric data. Both VBM and the SUIT analyses revealed reduced GM in ASD children in cerebellar lobule VII (Crus I/II). The degree of regional and lobular gray matter reductions in different cerebellar subregions correlated with the severity of symptoms in social interaction, communication, and repetitive behaviors. Structural differences and behavioral correlations converged on right cerebellar Crus I/II, a region which shows structural and functional connectivity with fronto-parietal and default mode networks. These results emphasize the importance of the location within the cerebellum to the potential functional impact of structural differences in ASD, and suggest that GM differences in cerebellar right Crus I/II are associated with the core ASD profile.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus