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Abstract #3414

Lifespan study by cross-sectional case-control comparisons in sliding age windows: test of ASD heterogeneity with One-Class Classifiers

Piernicola Oliva1, Alessia Giuliano2, Paolo Bosco2, Elisa Ferrari3, Michela Tosetti4, Filippo Muratori4, Calderoni Sara4, and Alessandra Retico2

1University of Sassari and National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Cagliari, Italy, 2National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Pisa, Italy, 3University of Pisa, Physics Department and National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Pisa, Italy, 4IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation, Pisa, Italy

Cross-sectional studies reported inconsistent findings on distinctive neuroanatomical characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We set up a lifespan study through a series of machine-learning-based case-control comparisons made on sub-cohorts obtained by partitioning a large structural MRI data sample (age range: 2-25 years) in subsamples with partially-overlapping narrower age ranges (3-4 years). We implemented One-Class Support Vector Machines on these sub-cohorts, obtaining the temporal evolution of the case-control separation ability, which is related to the detectability of neuroimaging-based biomarkers. Distinctive common features characterize children with ASD under 5 years of age; the heterogeneity of the ASD condition dominates from adolescence.

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