New quantitative technique shows microstructural brain alternations in autism spectrum disorder

November 16, 2016

New Rochelle, NY, November 16, 2016--A new study found significant changes in white matter pathways in the brains of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using a novel technique called Automated Fiber Quantification (AFQ). Evidence of both increases and decreases in diffusion across white matter tracts and the relationship of these changes to patient age are reported in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website until December 16, 2016.

Lauren Libero, UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, Sacramento, CA, Wesley Burge, Hrishikesh Deshpande, and Rajesh Kana, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Franco Pestilli, Indiana University, Bloomington, describe the AFQ technique in the article entitled "White Matter Diffusion of Major Fiber Tracts Implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorder." AFQ gives researchers access to diffusion information along an entire tract of white matter, instead of having to rely on average measures, which may improve their ability to identify clinical differences that are linked to microstructural changes in the brain.

"Autism researchers have hypothesized that the disorder is caused by large-scale disruptions in brain connectivity," says Christopher Pawela, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin. "Lauren Libero and colleagues support this hypothesis by demonstrating that subtle alterations of white matter tracts, which are the structural wiring system in the brain, are present in affected individuals. They performed this work using their newly developed magnetic resonance imaging methodology that provides increased sensitivity to white matter changes."
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About the Journal

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivitywebsite.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurotrauma and Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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