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Abstract #4604

In Vivo Detection of Reduced Purkinje Cell Fibers with Diffusion MRI Tractography in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Jeong-Won Jeong 1,2 , Joseph Shin 2 , Vijay N Tiwari 2 , Harry T Chugani 1,2 , and Diane C Chugani 1,2

1 Pediatrics and Neurology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, United States, 2 PET center, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, United States

Postmortem neuropathology reports reduced number and size of Purkinje cells (PC) in a majority of cerebellum specimens from persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We investigated whether structural changes related to decreased PC could be detected in vivo by measuring diffusion weighted imaging streamlines connecting the cerebellar cortex to the dentate nucleus. It was found that 73.3% of children with ASD showed reduced fractional anisotrpy in streamlines connecting cerebellar cortex to right dentate nucleus. This study detected white matter pathology in a similar portion of cases as in postmortem pathology showing decreased PC in lateral posterio-lateral cerebellar cortex.

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