Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

XXY versus autism: evidence from neuroimaging

Brain development in children with an extra X chromosome as compared to children with autism: evidence from MRI

2012 - 2016
Sophie van Rijn

Children with an extra X chromosome are at increased risk for social dysfunctioning and autism symptoms. Because of the large individual differences in developmental outcome, it is important to understand risk factors in terms of brain development, that drive this increased vulnerability. The aim of this project is to identify such neural mechanisms, and to assess if brain development in children with Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) is similar or different from children with idiopathic autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Neuroimaging (MRI) is used to evaluate structure and functioning of the brain, focusing on brain connectivity (in white matter density and resting state networks), brain functioning during social information processing, and gray matter density of areas crucial for social behavior.

Detecting differential neural pathways underlying social behavioral problems is important for clinical diagnosis and intervention, as a different nature of social deficits in XXY versus ASD calls for a different approach in interventions targeted at improving outcome.

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