summary: A study by researchers at King’s College identified a link between autistic features and ventriculomegaly (a common prenatal brain abnormality) in isolated fetuses. Using MRI brain scans, this study supports the need for early detection and intervention in families and may improve long-term support for those affected.
sauce: King’s College London
Researchers used MRI brain scans in isolated children with fetal ventriculomegaly to measure neurodevelopment and investigate the presence of school-age autistic traits.
In a paper published in Nature CommunicationsKing researchers at the Center for Developmental Brain have found evidence to support a link between isolated ventricular hypertrophy and autistic features.
In this study, we followed two groups of children. One group underwent normal fetal brain MR assessments and the other group with prenatal diagnosis of solitary ventricular hypertrophy underwent developmental follow-up assessments at 2 years and primary school age.
Participating children were first scanned as fetuses and tested on a variety of developmental measures, including IQ, autistic traits, sustained attention, neurological function, behaviour, executive function, sensory processing, coordination, and adaptive behavior. I was.
Fetal ventricular hypertrophy is the most common brain abnormality diagnosed prenatally, when the lateral ventricles are larger than normal on prenatal ultrasound or MR imaging.
This study shows a link between this most common fetal brain development abnormality and features of autism. The results have the potential to improve family counseling and aid in early detection, support and intervention, and further studies are needed to confirm the initial findings in larger populations.
“Although this approach provides only a partial indication of future outcomes, better predictions could have important implications for long-term support of families. It means that they can be counseled about their future outcomes, and increased awareness of the development of autistic traits in children will enable early and rapid access to support programs,” said Neuroimaging.
“In order to improve our understanding of the likelihood of developing autism, high-quality brain imaging and prenatal-diagnosed solitary ventricular hypertrophy, or indeed other common fetal brain abnormalities, should be considered. There is a clear need for longer-term data that combine long-term developmental tracking of children with prenatal disease, said Mary Rutherford, Professor of Perinatal Imaging and Health.
About this Autism Research News
Original research: open access.
“Characterization of ASD characteristics in a cohort of children with isolated fetal ventricular hypertrophyVanessa Kiriacople and others Nature Communications
Characterization of ASD characteristics in a cohort of children with isolated fetal ventricular hypertrophy
Fetal ventricular hypertrophy is the most common brain abnormality diagnosed prenatally. Imaging studies of prenatal, isolated ventricular hypertrophy show enlarged ventricles and cortical overgrowth also seen in children with autism spectrum disorders/conditions (ASD).
We investigate the presence of ASD traits in a cohort of children (n= 24 [20 males/4 females]) in isolated fetal ventriculomegaly ( ) compared with 10 controls (n= 10 [6 males/4 females]).
School-age neurodevelopmental outcomes include IQ, ASD traits (ADOS-2), sustained attention, neurological function, behaviour, executive function, sensory processing, coordination, and adaptive behavior.
Preschool language development was assessed at 2 years of age. Her 37.5% of all male children in the ventricular hypertrophy cohort were above the threshold for autism/ASD classification.
Preschool language delay predicted the ADOS-2 autism/ASD classification with a specificity of 73.3%/sensitivity of 66.7%. Greater preschool language delay was associated with more ASD symptoms.
In this study, neurodevelopment in children with isolated fetal ventricular hypertrophy associated with altered cortical development includes features of ASD, sustained attention difficulties, working memory, and sensory-seeking behavior. .