Autistic children showed a reduction in short range connectivity indicating poor function of local brain networks, especially in the left hemisphere regions responsible for language. However these children had increased connectivity between regions that were further apart indicating a compensatory mechanism.
Autism is characterized by impaired communication, including language and social skills, and often includes rigidity of interests, or repetitive, ritualistic behavior. While MRI studies have reported differing results, EEG measurements of brain activity have been more consistent.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School compared EEG measurements of almost 1000 children with and without autism. Data was collected using 24 electrodes on the scalps of awake and alert subjects and results adjusted for events known to confound EEG results such as blinking, head movement or drowsiness.
Dr Frank Duffy and Dr Heidelise Als who performed this research at the Boston Children's Hospital explained, "EEG coherence is used to assess functional connectivity within the brain. Across all the age groups we tested, a set of 40 coherence measurements reliably and consistently distinguished between children with ASD and their controls."
The EEG results showed widespread differences in brain connectivity. Specifically short distance coherence (between adjacent electrodes) was reduced in the children with ASD, especially in the left frontal regions associated with language. Conversely long distance coherence was increased, suggesting a compensatory mechanism.
In addition to behavioral assessments, the use of EEG-based testing may help reliably diagnose autism in children, and may assist early detection in infants, allowing for more effective therapies and coping strategies.
Media ContactDr Hilary Glover
Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.
2. BMC Medicine is the flagship medical journal of the BMC series, publishing original research, commentaries and reviews that are either of significant interest to all areas of medicine and clinical practice, or provide key translational or clinical advances in a specific field.
1. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.
Hilary Glover | EurekAlert!
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy