Searching across hundreds of databases

Our searching services are busy right now. Your search will reload in five seconds.

Forgot Password

If you have forgotten your password you can enter your email here and get a temporary password sent to your email.

The amygdala is enlarged in children but not adolescents with autism; the hippocampus is enlarged at all ages.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction, deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, and a restricted repertoire of activities or interests. We performed a magnetic resonance imaging study to better define the neuropathology of autistic spectrum disorders. Here we report findings on the amygdala and the hippocampal formation. Borders of the amygdala, hippocampus, and cerebrum were defined, and their volumes were measured in male children (7.5-18.5 years of age) in four diagnostic groups: autism with mental retardation, autism without mental retardation, Asperger syndrome, and age-matched typically developing controls. Although there were no differences between groups in terms of total cerebral volume, children with autism (7.5-12.5 years of age) had larger right and left amygdala volumes than control children. There were no differences in amygdala volume between the adolescent groups (12.75-18.5 years of age). Interestingly, the amygdala in typically developing children increases substantially in volume from 7.5 to 18.5 years of age. Thus, the amygdala in children with autism is initially larger, but does not undergo the age-related increase observed in typically developing children. Children with autism, with and without mental retardation, also had a larger right hippocampal volume than typically developing controls, even after controlling for total cerebral volume. Children with autism but without mental retardation also had a larger left hippocampal volume relative to controls. These cross-sectional findings indicate an abnormal program of early amygdala development in autism and an abnormal pattern of hippocampal development that persists through adolescence. The cause of amygdala and hippocampal abnormalities in autism is currently unknown.

Pubmed ID: 15254095 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Adolescent | Age Factors | Amygdala | Autistic Disorder | Brain | Child | Hippocampus | Humans | Hypertrophy | Intellectual Disability | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | Male | Organ Size

Research resources used in this publication

None found

Research tools detected in this publication

None found

Data used in this publication

None found

Associated grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD31715
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH01142
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH01832
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH41479
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH50047
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS16980

Publication data is provided by the National Library of Medicine ® and PubMed ®. Data is retrieved from PubMed ® on a weekly schedule. For terms and conditions see the National Library of Medicine Terms and Conditions.

We have not found any resources mentioned in this publication.