Measures of Cortical Grey Matter Structure and Development in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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The current study examined group differences in cortical volume, surface area, and thickness with age, in a group of typically developing children and a group of children with ASD aged 6–15 years. Results showed evidence of age by group interactions, suggesting atypicalities in the relation between these measures and age in the ASD group. Additional vertex-based analyses of cortical thickness revealed that specific regions in the left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44) and left precuneus showed thicker cortex for the ASD group at younger ages only. These data support the hypothesis of an abnormal developmental trajectory of the cortex in ASD, which could have profound effects on other aspects of neural development in children with ASD.

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