, Volume 44, Issue 11, pp 2742-2754,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 15 May 2014

White Matter Microstructure Predicts Autistic Traits in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Abstract

Traits of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have previously been found to index clinical severity. This study examined the association of ASD traits with diffusion parameters in adolescent males with ADHD (n = 17), and also compared WM microstructure relative to controls (n = 17). Significant associations (p < 0.05, corrected) were found between fractional anisotropy/radial diffusivity and ASD trait severity (positive and negative correlations respectively), mostly in the right posterior limb of the internal capsule/corticospinal tract, right cerebellar peduncle and the midbrain. No case–control differences were found for the diffusion parameters investigated. This is the first report of a WM microstructural signature of autistic traits in ADHD. Thus, even in the absence of full disorder, ASD traits may index a distinctive underlying neurobiology in ADHD.