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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social, communicative and behavioral impairments, affects one in every one hundred and ten children. The thalamus plays a role in the relaying of information in the subcortical network, and its impairment is often a reason for the symptoms of autism. In this study, MRI and fMRI scans were obtained using T1 weighted imaging for 14 autistic and 11 controls subjects, matched by age (t(25)=-0.414, P=0.683) and IQ (t(26)=0.235, P=0.817). The correlation between the left thalamus and total brain volume is weaker in individuals with autism (r=0.272, n=14, p>0.05) versus the controls (r=0.757, n=11, p<0.01), resulting in more varied thalamic volume to total brain volume ratio for individuals with ASD (r=0.465, n=14, P>0.05) compared to controls (r=0.704, n=11, P<0.05). In addition, there is incongruent functional connectivity in individuals with autism betwen the thalamus and the frontal, occipital, parietal, and temporal lobes, shown by resting state functional MRI.

Looking Deeper into Autism Spectrum Disorder