Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1581–1590 | Cite as

Brief Report: Methods for Acquiring Structural MRI Data in Very Young Children with Autism Without the Use of Sedation

  • Christine Wu NordahlEmail author
  • Tony J. Simon
  • Cynthia Zierhut
  • Marjorie Solomon
  • Sally J. Rogers
  • David G. Amaral
Brief Report

Abstract

We describe a protocol with which we achieved a 93% success rate in acquiring high quality MRI scans without the use of sedation in 2.5–4.5 year old children with autism, developmental delays, and typical development. Our main strategy was to conduct MRIs during natural nocturnal sleep in the evenings after the child’s normal bedtime. Alternatively, with some older and higher functioning children, the MRI was conducted while the child was awake and watching a video. Both strategies relied heavily on the creation of a child and family friendly MRI environment and the involvement of parents as collaborators in the project. Scanning very young children with autism, typical development, and developmental delays without the use of sedation or anesthesia was possible in the majority of cases.

Keywords

MRI Autism Natural sleep Sedation Children Toddlers 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was carried out as a component of the UC Davis Autism Phenome Project (APP). It was supported, in part, by the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and the Autism Research Training Program (T32 MH073124). We thank Steve Dager, Bob Almli, Susan Rivera, and April Benasich for helpful advice, Carolyn McCormick and Cherie Green for excellent technical assistance, and Cameron Carter and the UC Davis Imaging Research Center for flexibility and support. The following individuals were instrumental in carrying out the APP: Lou Ann Barnett, Meridith Brandt, Lisa Cochran, Susan Rumberg, and Meagan Thompson. We especially thank all of the parents and children who participated in this study.

References

  1. Almli, C. R., Rivkin, M. J., & McKinstry, R. C. (2007). The NIH MRI study of normal brain development (Objective-2): Newborns, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Neuroimage, 35(1), 308–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aylward, E. H., Minshew, N. J., Field, K., Sparks, B. F., & Singh, N. (2002). Effects of age on brain volume and head circumference in autism. Neurology, 59(2), 175–183.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Berument, S. K., Rutter, M., Lord, C., Pickles, A., & Bailey, A. (1999). Autism screening questionnaire: Diagnostic validity. British Journal of Psychiatry, 175, 444–451.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carper, R. A., Moses, P., Tigue, Z. D., & Courchesne, E. (2002). Cerebral lobes in autism: Early hyperplasia and abnormal age effects. Neuroimage, 16(4), 1038–1051.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Courchesne, E., Karns, C. M., Davis, H. R., Ziccardi, R., Carper, R. A., Tigue, Z. D., et al. (2001). Unusual brain growth patterns in early life in patients with autistic disorder: An MRI study. Neurology, 57(2), 245–254.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. DiLavore, P. C., Lord, C., & Rutter, M. (1995). The pre-linguistic autism diagnostic observation schedule. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 25(4), 355–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Evans, A. C. (2006). The NIH MRI study of normal brain development. Neuroimage, 30(1), 184–202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Filipek, P. A. (2005). Medical aspects of autism. In F. R. Volkmar, R. Paul, A. Klin, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (Vol. 1, pp. 542–543). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  9. Giedd, J. N., Blumenthal, J., Jeffries, N. O., Castellanos, F. X., Liu, H., Zijdenbos, A., et al. (1999). Brain development during childhood and adolescence: A longitudinal MRI study. Nature Neuroscience, 2(10), 861–863.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gray, C. A., & Garand, J. D. (1993). Social stories: Improving responses of students with autism with accurate social information. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 8(1), 1–10.Google Scholar
  11. Hazlett, H. C., Poe, M., Gerig, G., Smith, R. G., Provenzale, J., Ross, A., et al. (2005). Magnetic resonance imaging and head circumference study of brain size in autism: Birth through age 2 years. Archieves of General Psychiatry, 62(12), 1366–1376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lord, C., Risi, S., Lambrecht, L., Cook, E. H., Jr., Leventhal, B. L., DiLavore, P. C., et al. (2000). The autism diagnostic observation schedule-generic: A standard measure of social and communication deficits associated with the spectrum of autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(3), 205–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lord, C., Rutter, M., & Le Couteur, A. (1994). Autism diagnostic interview-revised: A revised version of a diagnostic interview for caregivers of individuals with possible pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24(5), 659–685.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mullen E. M. (1995). Mullens scales of early learning. Circle Pines: American Guidance Service, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Rogers, S. J., & Ozonoff, S. (2005). Annotation: What do we know about sensory dysfunction in autism? A critical review of the empirical evidence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46(12), 1255–1268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ross, A. K., Hazlett, H. C., Garrett, N. T., Wilkerson, C., & Piven, J. (2005). Moderate sedation for MRI in young children with autism. Pediatric Radiology, 35(9), 867–871.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sparks, B. F., Friedman, S. D., Shaw, D. W., Aylward, E. H., Echelard, D., Artru, A. A., et al. (2002). Brain structural abnormalities in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Neurology, 59(2), 184–192.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Tharpe, A. M., Bess, F. H., Sladen, D. P., Schissel, H., Couch, S., & Schery, T. (2006). Auditory characteristics of children with autism. Ear and Hearing, 27(4), 430–441.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Thorndike, R. L., Hagen, E. P., & Sattler, J. M. (1986). The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (4th ed). Chicago: The Riverside Publishing Co.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Wu Nordahl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tony J. Simon
    • 2
  • Cynthia Zierhut
    • 3
  • Marjorie Solomon
    • 2
  • Sally J. Rogers
    • 2
  • David G. Amaral
    • 2
  1. 1.M.I.N.D. Institute and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California at DavisSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.M.I.N.D. Institute and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California at DavisSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.M.I.N.D. InstituteUniversity of California at DavisSacramentoUSA

Personalised recommendations