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Social Brain Maturation is characterized in Newborns Vulnerabilities autism spectrum disorders


The presence of the first-degree relative with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been associated with social dysmaturation brain circuits in newborns, according to a study published in the JAMA Network Open.

Researchers extracted data from the European Autism Interventions brain imaging studies in Babies for which term infants (> 37 weeks) were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging using a special neonatal brain imaging system. Visualization was carried out in the period from June 23, 2015 and August 1, 2018, at St. Thomas Hospital in London, England. Newborns with (R+) And without (R) First degree relative with ASD were selected for inclusion. Brain regions responsible for social functions were selected for analysis; the level of synchronous activity in each region has been used as a metric of the local functional connectivity.

The final cohort reached 18 R+ children (13 boys; median [range] postmenstrual age when scanning, 42.93 [40.00-44.86] weeks) and 18 R children (13 boys; median [range] postmenstrual age when scanning, 42.50 [39.29-44.58] weeks). Infants who were R+ We had significantly higher levels of synchronous activity at the right and left rear spindle parietal cortex (both P = 0.04) compared to their R counterparts. significant group × age interactions were identified in the left islet (P = 0.04), the right and left anterior cingulate (both P = 0.03), and right and left posterior cingulate cortex (as P = 0.03). In particular, R+ babies appear more synchronous activity in these regions compared with R children at an earlier age postmenstrual, while those scanned when the elder showed the opposite. among R newborn, a clear pattern was observed progressive maturation synchronous activity for postmenstrual age from 39 to 45 weeks compared with the small decrease in R+ babies.

The researchers suggested that the study be replicated with a large set of data and a longitudinal design. They also recognized the "novelty" inclusion in the study of one of the parents with ASD as the risk for ASD in offspring.

Infants with ASD feel vulnerable to significant differences in the levels of synchronous activity and maturation in the main components of the social brain, suggesting that ASD, associated with a deviation in the typical maturation of the brain can occur in utero.

"Future studies of fetal and neonatal imaging help compare the social development of the brain and would be useful to explore that … can alter the activity of a typical infant or even what might normalize the abnormal activity in children who are vulnerable to adverse outcomes," came to conclusions of researchers.


Ciarrusta J., O & # 39; Muircheartaigh J., Dimitrova P, et al. Social Brain functional maturation in neonates with and without a family history of autism spectrum disorders. JAMA Netw Open. 2019; 2 (4): e191868

This article originally with & # 39 appeared in Psychiatry Advisor

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