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Associations between limbic system white matter structure and socio-emotional functioning in children with ADHD + ASD.

journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-11, 00:00 authored by Kate StephensKate Stephens, Tim SilkTim Silk, Vicky Anderson, Philip Hazell, Peter EnticottPeter Enticott, Emma SciberrasEmma Sciberras
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) combined with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms (ADHD + ASD) have poorer social and emotional functioning than those with ADHD alone. However, no studies have specifically examined the associations between ASD symptoms, measures of social and emotional functioning and limbic system white matter microstructure. Tractography on the cingulum, uncinate fasciculus and fornix were performed for 151 children with (N = 78) and without (N = 73) ADHD. Participants in the ADHD group who scored 11 or above on the Social Communication Questionnaire were classified as the ADHD + ASD group (N = 16). Significant differences in mean cingulum FA were present between the control group and the ADHD (all) group, however, no significant differences were seen between the ADHD and ADHD + ASD groups. Despite this, significant associations were seen between mean FA of the left cingulum and emotional problems for the ADHD + ASD group. Results give greater insights into the specific biological basis of emotional problems in the ADHD + ASD group, indicating that the cingulum may play a role.



Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders


Springer New York LLC


New York, N.Y.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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