Magnetic resonance imaging evidence for a defect of cerebral cortical development in autism

Joseph Piven, Marcelo L. Berthier, Sergio E. Starkstein, Eileen Nehme, Godfrey Pearlson, Susan Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were performed on 13 high-functioning male autistic subjects and 13 male nonautistic control subjects comparable in age and nonverbal IQ. Scans were rated for the presence of cerebral cortical malformations. Five autistic subjects had polymicrogyria, one had schizencephaly and macrogyria, and one had macrogyria. None of the control subjects had abnormalities of this type. These abnormalities result from a defect in the migration of neurons to the cerebral cortex during the first 6 months of gestation. The detection of these malformations by MRI, their pathogenesis, and the implications regarding the pathogenesis of autism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-739
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume147
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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