The White Matter Microstructure of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Poster Presentation
Friday, May 11, 2018: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
H. Ohta1, T. Itahashi1, Y. Aoki2, M. Nakamura1, C. Kanai3, A. Iwanami4, N. Kato1, J. Fujino1 and R. Hashimoto5, (1)Medical Institute of Developmental Disabilities Research, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan, (2)Showa University, Tokyo, Japan, (3)Showa University, Setagaya-ku, Japan, (4)Showa University, Setagayaku, Japan, (5)Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo, Japan

Previous researches have shown high rate of comorbidity (30-50%) between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) . Some researches reported that impaired structural brain connectivity was related to the core features of ASD and ADHD. However, only a few studies directly compared the white matter microstructure between ASD and ADHD.


The aim of the present study is to reveal the commonality and difference of white matter microstructure between adults with ASD and those with ADHD using Diffusion Tenor Imaging (DTI).


A total of 196 adults participated in this study; 68 Normal Controls (NC), 83 ASD, 45 ADHD. Two medical specialists diagnosed ASD and ADHD according to DSM-5 criteria. ADOS-2 was conducted on 71 out of 83 ASDs. Individuals who have mental retardation were excluded from this study. MRI scans were conducted to all participants. DTI data were processed using programs in the FMRIB Software Library (FSL) version 5.0. TBSS (Tract-Based Spatial Statistics) was used for voxelwise statistical analysis. The statistical threshold was defined at p < 0.05 (corrected for multiple comparisons). Age and gender were included as covariates.

Results: Lower FA of corpus callosum, bilateral superior and middle cerebellar peduncle, bilateral cerebral peduncle, right superior temporal cortex was found in ASD compared to HC. Lower FA of bilateral superior and middle cerebellar peduncle and right superior temporal cortex was found in ADHD compared to HC. Although the differences were disappeared after controlling for multiple comparison, lower FA of genu of corpus callosum in ASD and right cingulum in ADHD comparing directly between the two disorders.

Conclusions: The present study specified common white matter alternations between ASD and ADHD in cerebellum peduncle and white matter under superior temporal cortex. ASD specific alterations were observed in corpus callosum and cerebral peduncle.In the direct comparison of ASD and ADHD, lower FA values were found in genu of corpus callosum in ASD and in right cingulum in ADHD. To reveal more complete picture of association between ASD and ADHD, further studies are needed by adopting not only the categorical but also dimensional approach.