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Article: Can asperger syndrome be distinguished from autism? An anatomic likelihood meta-analysis of MRI studies

TitleCan asperger syndrome be distinguished from autism? An anatomic likelihood meta-analysis of MRI studies
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherCanadian Medical Association. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.cma.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/12267/la_id/1.htm
Citation
Journal Of Psychiatry And Neuroscience, 2011, v. 36 n. 6, p. 412-421 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground: The question of whether Asperger syndrome can be distinguished from autism has attracted much debate and may even incur delay in diagnosis and intervention. Accordingly, there has been a proposal for Asperger syndrome to be subsumed under autism in the forthcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, in 2013. One approach to resolve this question has been to adopt the criterion of absence of clinically significant language or cognitive delay - essentially, the "absence of language delay." To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of people with autism to compare absence with presence of language delay. It capitalizes on the voxel-based morphometry (VBM) approach to systematically explore the whole brain for anatomic correlates of delay and no delay in language acquisition in people with autism spectrum disorders. Methods: We conducted a systematic search for VBM MRI studies of grey matter volume in people with autism. Studies with a majority (at least 70%) of participants with autism diagnoses and a history of language delay were assigned to the autism group (n = 151, control n = 190). Those with a majority (at least 70%) of individuals with autism diagnoses and no language delay were assigned to the Asperger syndrome group (n = 149, control n = 214). We entered study coordinates into anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis software with sampling size weighting to compare grey matter summary maps driven by Asperger syndrome or autism. Results: The summary autism grey matter map showed lower volumes in the cerebellum, right uncus, dorsal hippocampus and middle temporal gyrus compared with controls; grey matter volumes were greater in the bilateral caudate, prefrontal lobe and ventral temporal lobe. The summary Asperger syndrome map indicated lower grey matter volumes in the bilateral amygdala/hippocampal gyrus and prefrontal lobe, left occipital gyrus, right cerebellum, putamen and precuneus compared with controls; grey matter volumes were greater in more limited regions, including the bilateral inferior parietal lobule and the left fusiform gyrus. Both Asperger syndrome and autism studies reported volume increase in clusters in the ventral temporal lobe of the left hemisphere. Limitations: We assigned studies to autism and Asperger syndrome groups for separate analyses of the data and did not carry out a direct statistical group comparison. In addition, studies available for analysis did not capture the entire spectrum, therefore we cannot be certain that our findings apply to a wider population than that sampled. Conclusion: Whereas grey matter differences in people with Asperger syndrome compared with controls are sparser than those reported in studies of people with autism, the distribution and direction of differences in each category are distinctive. © 2011 Canadian Medical Association.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/135407
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 5.57
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 2.675
PubMed Central ID
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
ING Asia/Pacific
Funding Information:

The autism research program in the Department of Psychiatry University of Hong Kong is supported by a donation from ING Asia/Pacific. The funders had no role in study design, data selection or analysis, decision to publish or manuscript drafting.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYu, KKen_HK
dc.contributor.authorCheung, Cen_HK
dc.contributor.authorChua, SEen_HK
dc.contributor.authorMcAlonan, GMen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-07-27T01:34:48Z-
dc.date.available2011-07-27T01:34:48Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_HK
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Psychiatry And Neuroscience, 2011, v. 36 n. 6, p. 412-421en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1180-4882en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/135407-
dc.description.abstractBackground: The question of whether Asperger syndrome can be distinguished from autism has attracted much debate and may even incur delay in diagnosis and intervention. Accordingly, there has been a proposal for Asperger syndrome to be subsumed under autism in the forthcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, in 2013. One approach to resolve this question has been to adopt the criterion of absence of clinically significant language or cognitive delay - essentially, the "absence of language delay." To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of people with autism to compare absence with presence of language delay. It capitalizes on the voxel-based morphometry (VBM) approach to systematically explore the whole brain for anatomic correlates of delay and no delay in language acquisition in people with autism spectrum disorders. Methods: We conducted a systematic search for VBM MRI studies of grey matter volume in people with autism. Studies with a majority (at least 70%) of participants with autism diagnoses and a history of language delay were assigned to the autism group (n = 151, control n = 190). Those with a majority (at least 70%) of individuals with autism diagnoses and no language delay were assigned to the Asperger syndrome group (n = 149, control n = 214). We entered study coordinates into anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis software with sampling size weighting to compare grey matter summary maps driven by Asperger syndrome or autism. Results: The summary autism grey matter map showed lower volumes in the cerebellum, right uncus, dorsal hippocampus and middle temporal gyrus compared with controls; grey matter volumes were greater in the bilateral caudate, prefrontal lobe and ventral temporal lobe. The summary Asperger syndrome map indicated lower grey matter volumes in the bilateral amygdala/hippocampal gyrus and prefrontal lobe, left occipital gyrus, right cerebellum, putamen and precuneus compared with controls; grey matter volumes were greater in more limited regions, including the bilateral inferior parietal lobule and the left fusiform gyrus. Both Asperger syndrome and autism studies reported volume increase in clusters in the ventral temporal lobe of the left hemisphere. Limitations: We assigned studies to autism and Asperger syndrome groups for separate analyses of the data and did not carry out a direct statistical group comparison. In addition, studies available for analysis did not capture the entire spectrum, therefore we cannot be certain that our findings apply to a wider population than that sampled. Conclusion: Whereas grey matter differences in people with Asperger syndrome compared with controls are sparser than those reported in studies of people with autism, the distribution and direction of differences in each category are distinctive. © 2011 Canadian Medical Association.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherCanadian Medical Association. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.cma.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/12267/la_id/1.htmen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Psychiatry and Neuroscienceen_HK
dc.subject.meshAsperger Syndrome - diagnosis - pathology - psychology-
dc.subject.meshAutistic Disorder - diagnosis - pathology - psychology-
dc.subject.meshLanguage Development Disorders - pathology-
dc.subject.meshMagnetic Resonance Imaging - methods - psychology-
dc.subject.meshNeuroimaging - methods - psychology-
dc.titleCan asperger syndrome be distinguished from autism? An anatomic likelihood meta-analysis of MRI studiesen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailCheung, C: charlton@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailChua, SE: sechua@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailMcAlonan, GM: mcalonan@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityCheung, C=rp01574en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityChua, SE=rp00438en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityMcAlonan, GM=rp00475en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1503/jpn.100138en_HK
dc.identifier.pmid21406158-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC3201995-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-79958257418en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros187262en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-79958257418&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume36en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6en_HK
dc.identifier.spage412en_HK
dc.identifier.epage421en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1488-2434-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000300383000008-
dc.publisher.placeCanadaen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYu, KK=36706689100en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridCheung, C=7202061845en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChua, SE=7201550427en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMcAlonan, GM=6603123011en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike10462768-

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