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Our understanding of anatomical differences in people with autistic-spectrum disorder, is based on mixed-gender or male samples.
To study regional grey-matter and white-matter differences in the brains of women with autistic-spectrum disorder.
We compared the brain anatomy of 14 adult women with autistic-spectrum disorder with 19 controls using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry Results Women with autistic-spectrum disorder had a smaller density bilaterally of grey matter in the frontotemporal cortices and limbic system, and of white matter in the temporal lobes (anterior) and pons. In contrast, they had a larger white-matter density bilaterally in regions of the association and projection fibres of the frontal, parietal, posterior temporal and occipital lobes, in the commissural fibres of the corpus callosum (splenium) and cerebellum (anterior lobe). Further, we found a negative relationship between reduced grey-matter density in right limbic regions and social communication ability.
Women with autistic-spectrum disorder have significant differences in brain anatomy from controls, in brain regions previously reported as abnormal in adult men with the disorder. Some anatomical differences may be related to clinical symptoms.
Thomas J. Wilbanks, Corporate Research Fellow and Leader of Global Change and Developing country Programs Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).,
Robert W. Kates, University Professor Brown University,
David P. Angel, Associate Professor of Geography and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Clark University,
Susan L. Cutter, Carolina Distinhuished Professor University of South Carolina,
William E. Easterling, Professor of Geography and Earth System Science Pennsylvania State University,
Michael W. Mayfield, Professor Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University
The Global Change and Local Places project of the Association of American Geographers originated in a 1992 meeting at which participants formulated three propositions:
The grand query regarding the ways scale matters in understanding global climate change would benefit from detailed case studies of localities that were linked to scholars active in climate change-related research at global and national scales;
Such case studies could constitute a basis for designing a research protocol for use in other local case studies, thereby helping build a body of empirical research that could serve as a basis for developing a bottom-up paradigm for global climate change research to complement the dominant top-down paradigm; and
These locality studies should be based at universities whose faculty possessed detailed, long-term knowledge of their local areas, in some cases engaging scholars in global change research who might otherwise not normally participate in a large-scale research project.
Funding for the project outlined at the 1992 meeting was sought and eventually obtained from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mission to Planet Earth Program (subsequently renamed Destination Earth). Intensive work on the project began in 1996 and continued through 2001. The several rounds of proposal writing that preceded funding refined the theoretical rationale for the project and its central components: four study areas located in Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; and three cross-cutting modules devoted respectively to estimating local greenhouse gas emissions, understanding the forces driving those emissions, and assessing local emission reduction potentials.
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