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A Longitudinal MRI Study of Myelin Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder


ASD refers to a group of disorders characterized by early childhood onset of impaired social reciprocity, communication, and restricted repetitive behaviors. Myelinated white matter (WM) is essential for efficient brain communication. In this study, we used the mcDESPOT Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique along with measures from the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) to investigate the relationship of abnormal WM development in ASD. Preliminary results found significant differences between ASD and typical development in 6 brain tracts investigated. Furthermore, correlations performed on a subset of participants indicated that longitudinal changes in myelin water fraction (MWF) correlated significantly (p<0.05) with changes in ADOS scores. Results suggest that some brain differences may normalize and others may be due to early disorganized myelination.


Brenner, Einat, "A Longitudinal MRI Study of Myelin Development in Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2014). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …