Differences Discovered Between Brains of Girls and Boys with ASD 

March 07, 2022

Gender-Specific Autism Diagnostics May Be Needed 

According to a new Stanford study, girls with autism differ in several brain centers compared to boys with the disorder.  These differences were discovered by analyzing hundreds of brain scans using artificial intelligence techniques. The Stanford researchers found that girls had different patterns of connectivity than boys did in certain brain centers, including motor, language and visuospatial attention systems. The largest differences between the sexes were discovered 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. Among girls with autism, the differences in motor centers were linked to the severity of their motor symptoms. Put simply, this means that girls whose brain patterns were most similar to boys with autism tended to have the most pronounced motor symptoms. The study team also identified language areas that varied between boys and girls with autism, which is consistent with prior studies that discovered greater language impairments in boys. The study authors believe their findings suggest that gender-specific autism diagnostics are needed for children at risk of the disorder, as well as gender-specific treatments once a child receives a diagnosis.  


Original Article 

Original Study

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