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MRI-imaged brain morphology may differ between adults who have autism and non-autistic controls

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Case-control study.


Tertiary psychiatric hospital outpatient clinics and locally resident volunteers.


Adults, aged 18–68 years, consisting of 20 controls without autism, 20 subjects with autism and 19 subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All subjects were male, IQ>75, right handed and without major psychiatric illness or medical condition affecting brain function.

Diagnostic strategy

Reference testing/standardisation: Participants underwent a psychiatric interview, physical examination and blood tests to exclude other disorders (eg, fragile X). Autism was diagnosed by ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision) criteria and confirmed using the Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised (17 cases) or the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (3 cases). Patients with ADHD were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV criteria,

Study test

All patients had an MRI scan of their brain, which was inspected initially by a radiologist for …

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  • Sources of funding: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust.


  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.