Brain Connect 2019 11;9(9):692-702
Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
Cerebellar abnormalities are commonly reported in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dentate nuclei (DNs) are key structures in the anatomical circuits linking the cerebellum to the extracerebellum. Previous resting-state functional connectivity (RsFc) analyses reported DN abnormalities in high-functioning ASD (HF-ASD). This study examined the RsFc of the DN in young adults with HF-ASD compared with healthy controls (HCs) with the aim to expand upon previous findings of DNs in a dataset using advanced, imaging acquisition methods that optimize spatiotemporal resolution and statistical power. Additional seed-to-voxel analyses were carried out using motor and nonmotor DN coordinates reported in previous studies as seeds. We report abnormal dentato-cerebral and dentato-cerebellar functional connectivity in ASD. Our results expand and, in part, replicate previous descriptions of DN RsFc abnormalities in this disorder and reveal correlations between DN-cerebral RsFc and ASD symptom severity.