In this pilot study the severity of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) was associated with alterations in white matter development. Children with ASD and without ASD were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for their myelination development on a regional basis. Measures were obtained in medial frontal cortex, temporal poles, and temporo-parietal junction in both left and right hemispheres. Children with ASD showed myelination that was greater than expected for their age in both left and right medial frontal cortex and showed myelination that was less than expected in left temporo-parietal junction. The severity of ASD symptoms, as assessed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, was associated more with left hemisphere alterations than right hemisphere.
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