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Altered Connectivity Between Cerebellum, Visual, and Sensory-Motor Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results from the EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project


Oldehinkel, Marianne; Mennes, Maarten; Marquand, Andre; Charman, Tony; Tillmann, Julian; Ecker, Christine; Dell'Acqua, Flavio; Brandeis, Daniel; Banaschewski, Tobias; Baumeister, Sarah; Moessnang, Carolin; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Holt, Rosemary; Bölte, Sven; Durston, Sarah; Kundu, Prantik; Lombardo, Michael V; Spooren, Will; Loth, Eva; Murphy, Declan G M; Beckmann, Christian F; Buitelaar, Jan K; EU-AIMS LEAP group (2019). Altered Connectivity Between Cerebellum, Visual, and Sensory-Motor Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results from the EU-AIMS Longitudinal European Autism Project. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 4(3):260-270.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging-based studies on functional connectivity in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have generated inconsistent results. Interpretation of findings is further hampered by small samples and a focus on a limited number of networks, with networks underlying sensory processing being largely underexamined. We aimed to comprehensively characterize ASD-related alterations within and between 20 well-characterized resting-state networks using baseline data from the EU-AIMS (European Autism Interventions-A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications) Longitudinal European Autism Project.
METHODS
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data was available for 265 individuals with ASD (7.5-30.3 years; 73.2% male) and 218 typically developing individuals (6.9-29.8 years; 64.2% male), all with IQ > 70. We compared functional connectivity within 20 networks-obtained using independent component analysis-between the ASD and typically developing groups, and related functional connectivity within these networks to continuous (overall) autism trait severity scores derived from the Social Responsiveness Scale Second Edition across all participants. Furthermore, we investigated case-control differences and autism trait-related alterations in between-network connectivity.
RESULTS
Higher autism traits were associated with increased connectivity within salience, medial motor, and orbitofrontal networks. However, we did not replicate previously reported case-control differences within these networks. The between-network analysis did reveal case-control differences showing on average 1) decreased connectivity of the visual association network with somatosensory, medial, and lateral motor networks, and 2) increased connectivity of the cerebellum with these sensory and motor networks in ASD compared with typically developing subjects.
CONCLUSIONS
We demonstrate ASD-related alterations in within- and between-network connectivity. The between-network alterations broadly affect connectivity between cerebellum, visual, and sensory-motor networks, potentially underlying impairments in multisensory and visual-motor integration frequently observed in ASD.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging-based studies on functional connectivity in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have generated inconsistent results. Interpretation of findings is further hampered by small samples and a focus on a limited number of networks, with networks underlying sensory processing being largely underexamined. We aimed to comprehensively characterize ASD-related alterations within and between 20 well-characterized resting-state networks using baseline data from the EU-AIMS (European Autism Interventions-A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications) Longitudinal European Autism Project.
METHODS
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data was available for 265 individuals with ASD (7.5-30.3 years; 73.2% male) and 218 typically developing individuals (6.9-29.8 years; 64.2% male), all with IQ > 70. We compared functional connectivity within 20 networks-obtained using independent component analysis-between the ASD and typically developing groups, and related functional connectivity within these networks to continuous (overall) autism trait severity scores derived from the Social Responsiveness Scale Second Edition across all participants. Furthermore, we investigated case-control differences and autism trait-related alterations in between-network connectivity.
RESULTS
Higher autism traits were associated with increased connectivity within salience, medial motor, and orbitofrontal networks. However, we did not replicate previously reported case-control differences within these networks. The between-network analysis did reveal case-control differences showing on average 1) decreased connectivity of the visual association network with somatosensory, medial, and lateral motor networks, and 2) increased connectivity of the cerebellum with these sensory and motor networks in ASD compared with typically developing subjects.
CONCLUSIONS
We demonstrate ASD-related alterations in within- and between-network connectivity. The between-network alterations broadly affect connectivity between cerebellum, visual, and sensory-motor networks, potentially underlying impairments in multisensory and visual-motor integration frequently observed in ASD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Imaging
Life Sciences > Cognitive Neuroscience
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Language:English
Date:1 March 2019
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 15:40
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:06
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2451-9022
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2018.11.010
PubMed ID:30711508

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