Autism is defined by three symptom clusters, including repetitive and stereotyped behavior. Previous studies have implicated basal ganglia in these behaviors. Earlier studies investigating basal ganglia in autism have included subjects on neuroleptics known to affect basal ganglia volumes. Therefore, we investigated these structures in medication-naive subjects with autism.
Volumetric magnetic resonance measures of caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens were compared in two independent samples of medication-naive, high-functioning subjects with autism or Asperger syndrome: 1) 21 affected children and adolescents and 21 matched control subjects; and 2) 21 affected adolescents and young adults and 21 matched control subjects.
Caudate nucleus was enlarged in both samples. This result remained significant after correction for total brain volume.
These results implicate caudate nucleus in autism, as an enlargement of this structure was disproportional to an increase in total brain volume in two independent samples of medication-naive subjects with autism.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Recent advances in Tourette syndrome research.Trends Neurosci. 2006; 29: 175-182
- American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC1994 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed.
- Antistereotypic effects of dopamine D-1 and D-2 antagonists after intrastriatal injection in rats.Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 1985; 330: 97-104
- The neurodevelopmental frontostriatal disorders: Evolutionary adaptiveness and anomalous lateralization.Brain Lang. 2000; 73: 297-320
- Brain and behaviour in children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: A volumetric and voxel-based morphometry MRI study.Brain. 2006; 129: 1218-1228
- Repetitive and stereotyped behaviours in pervasive developmental disorders.J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006; 47: 573-581
- Developmental trajectories of brain volume abnormalities in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.JAMA. 2002; 288: 1740-1748
- Increase in caudate nuclei volumes of first-episode schizophrenic patients taking antipsychotic drugs.Am J Psychiatry. 1994; 151: 1430-1436
- Attenuation of amphetamine-induced motor stimulation and stereotypy by 6-hydroxydopamine in the rat.Br J Pharmacol. 1973; 47: 683-692
- Repetitive behaviors in autism: Relationships with associated clinical features.Res Dev Disabil. 2005; 26: 169-181
- Case study: Acute basal ganglia enlargement and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in an adolescent boy.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996; 35: 913-915
- Volumetric analysis and three-dimensional glucose metabolic mapping of the striatum and thalamus in patients with autism spectrum disorders.Am J Psychiatry. 2006; 163: 1252-1263
- Dissociations of cerebral cortex, subcortical and cerebral white matter volumes in autistic boys.Brain. 2003; 126: 1182-1192
- Striatal volume on magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive behaviors in autism.Biol Psychiatry. 2005; 58: 226-232
- Changes in caudate volume with neuroleptic treatment.Lancet. 1994; 344: 1434
- Reduced basal ganglia volumes after switching to olanzapine in chronically treated patients with schizophrenia.Am J Psychiatry. 2004; 161: 1829-1836
- Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders.J Autism Dev Disord. 1994; 24: 659-685
- Brain anatomy and sensorimotor gating in Asperger’s syndrome.Brain. 2002; 125: 1594-1606
- MRI anatomy of schizophrenia.Biol Psychiatry. 1999; 45: 1099-1119
- Neurophysiologic dysfunction in basal ganglia/limbic striatal and thalamocortical circuits as a pathogenetic mechanism of obsessive-compulsive disorder.J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1989; 1: 27-36
- No evidence for preferential involvement of medial temporal lobe structures in high-functioning autism.Psychol Med. 2006; 36: 827-834
- Increased gray-matter volume in medication-naive high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder.Psychol Med. 2005; 35: 561-570
- Larger brains in medication naive high-functioning subjects with pervasive developmental disorder.J Autism Dev Disord. 2004; 34: 603-613
- Reduced basal ganglia volumes in Tourette’s syndrome using three-dimensional reconstruction techniques from magnetic resonance images.Neurology. 1993; 43: 941-949
- Basal ganglia volumes in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003; 60: 415-424
- Cognitive deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder on tests of frontal-striatal function.Biol Psychiatry. 1998; 43: 348-357
- The psychology of perserverative and stereotyped behaviour.Prog Neurobiol. 1994; 44: 221-231
- Neuropsychiatry of the basal ganglia.J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002; 72: 12-21
- Response-inhibition deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder: An indicator of dysfunction in frontostriatal circuits.J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1997; 22: 29-38
- Frontostriatal measurement in treatment-naive children with obsessive-compulsive disorder.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997; 54: 824-830
- Repetitive behaviors in monkeys are linked to specific striatal activation patterns.J Neurosci. 2004; 24: 7557-7565
- Increased right caudate nucleus size in obsessive-compulsive disorder: Detection with magnetic resonance imaging.Psychiatry Res. 1992; 45: 115-121
- The effect of clozapine on caudate nucleus volume in schizophrenic patients previously treated with typical antipsychotics.Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001; 24: 47-54
- Effect of clozapine on caudate nucleus volume in relation to symptoms of schizophrenia.Am J Psychiatry. 2001; 158: 644-646
- An MRI study of the basal ganglia in autism.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1999; 23: 613-624
- Multiple daily amphetamine administration: Behavioral and neurochemical alterations.Science. 1980; 207: 905-907
- Dorsal striatal size, shape, and metabolic rate in never-medicated and previously medicated schizophrenics performing a verbal learning task.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998; 55: 235-243
- Investigating the structure of the restricted, repetitive behaviours and interests domain of autism.J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2006; 47: 582-590
- Repetitive behaviour in children with high functioning autism and obsessive compulsive disorder.J Autism Dev Disord. 2006; ([Epub ahead of print].)
Published online: January 17, 2007
Accepted: September 28, 2006
Received in revised form: September 27, 2006
Received: May 9, 2006
© 2007 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.