Study finds differences between brains of girls, boys with autism

Among children with autism, girls had different patterns of connectivity than boys did in several brain centers, including motor, language and visuospatial attention systems. Differences in a group of motor areas — including the primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area, parietal and lateral occipital cortex, and middle and superior temporal gyri — were the largest between sexes. Among girls with autism, the differences in motor centers were linked to the severity of their motor symptoms, meaning girls whose brain patterns were most similar to boys with autism tended to have the most pronounced motor symptoms.

The researchers also identified language areas that differed between boys and girls with autism, and noted that prior studies have identified greater language impairments in boys.

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