Amygdala Volume Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder Are Related to Anxiety

  • John D. Herrington
  • Brenna B. Maddox
  • Connor M. Kerns
  • Keiran Rump
  • Julie A. Worley
  • Jennifer C. Bush
  • Alana J. McVey
  • Robert T. Schultz
  • Judith S. Miller
S.I. : Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that longstanding findings of abnormal amygdala morphology in ASD may be related to symptoms of anxiety. To test this hypothesis, fifty-three children with ASD (mean age = 11.9) underwent structural MRI and were divided into subgroups to compare those with at least one anxiety disorder diagnosis (n = 29) to those without (n = 24) and to a typically developing control group (TDC; n = 37). Groups were matched on age and intellectual level. The ASD and anxiety group showed decreased right amygdala volume (controlled for total brain volume) relative to ASD without anxiety (p = .04) and TDCs (p = .068). Results suggest that youth with ASD and co-occurring anxiety have a distinct neurodevelopmental trajectory.

Keywords

Amygdala Anxiety disorders Brain morphometry Comorbidity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Herrington
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brenna B. Maddox
    • 1
  • Connor M. Kerns
    • 4
    • 5
  • Keiran Rump
    • 2
  • Julie A. Worley
    • 6
  • Jennifer C. Bush
    • 7
  • Alana J. McVey
    • 8
  • Robert T. Schultz
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Judith S. Miller
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Autism ResearchThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.AJ Drexel Autism Institute & Community Health & Prevention, School of Public HealthDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Center for Health InnovationAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA
  6. 6.SPIN IncPhiladelphiaUSA
  7. 7.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  8. 8.Department of PsychologyMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA

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