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Abstract #0711

Surface-based diffusion MRI analysis of the superficial white matter in autism: association with functional networks and symptom severity

Seok-Jun Hong1,2, Hyung Brian1, Shahin Tavakol1, Alexander Lowe1, Sara Lariviere1, Reinder Vos De Wael1, Casey Paquola1, and Boris C. Bernhardt1

1Multimodal Imaging and Connectome Analysis Lab, Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Quebec, QC, Canada, 2Center for the Developing Brain, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY, United States

Our study focused on a region that remains relatively unexplored by autism neuroimaging: the superficial white matter (SWM) immediately beneath the cortical interface, a compartment known to play a key role in corticogenesis and connectivity. A surface-based diffusion-MRI analysis revealed SWM anomalies in a multicentric ASD cohort compared to neurotypical controls in medial parietal and temporo-parietal regions. Notably, structural anomalies were found to modulate functional connectivity reductions in ASD and related to symptom severity. Analyses targeting the SWM offer a novel perspective on the interplay between structural and functional network perturbations in ASD.

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