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Abstract #0514

Atypical maturation of short-range fibers connecting higher-order brain regions in children with autism aged 2-7 years

Minhui Ouyang1, Jennifer Muller1, Hua Cheng2, Yun Peng2, J. Christopher Edgar1,3, Timothy P.L. Roberts1,3, and Hao Huang1,3

1Radiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 2Radiology, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China, 3Radiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States

A pattern of local or short-distance “over-connectivity” and long-range under-connectivity is frequently hypothesized in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little is known about the spatiotemporal characterization of structural short-distance connections in typically developing (TD) children or children with ASD. We hypothesized that altered trajectories of short-range association fibers (SAF) are not uniform across the brain regions, with abnormal maturation primarily observed in higher-order but not in primary sensory brain regions in children in ASD. Here, we quantified SAF with a novel index defined as normalized SAF (NSAF) based on diffusion MRI tractography, and characterized its trajectories across brain regions.

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