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Increased facial asymmetry in autism spectrum conditions is associated with symptom presentation.

Abstract

A key research priority in the study of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) is the discovery of biological markers that may help to identify and elucidate etiologically distinct subgroups. One physical marker that has received increasing research attention is facial structure. Although there remains little consensus in the field, findings relating to greater facial asymmetry (FA) in ASC exhibit some consistency. As there is growing recognition of the importance of replicatory studies in ASC research, the aim of this study was to investigate the replicability of increased FA in autistic children compared to nonautistic peers. Using three-dimensional photogrammetry, this study examined FA in 84 autistic children, 110 typically developing children with no family history of the condition, and 49 full siblings of autistic children. In support of previous literature, significantly greater depth-wise FA was identified in autistic children relative to the two comparison groups. As a further investigation, increased lateral FA in autistic children was found to be associated with greater severity of ASC symptoms on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, second edition, specifically related to repetitive and restrictive behaviors. These outcomes provide an important and independent replication of increased FA in ASC, as well as a novel contribution to the field. Having confirmed the direction and areas of increased FA in ASC, these findings could motivate a search for potential underlying brain dysmorphogenesis. Autism Res 2019. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY

SUMMARY:

This study looked at the amount of facial asymmetry (FA) in autistic children compared to typically developing children and children who have siblings with autism. The study found that autistic children, compared to the other two groups, had greater FA, and that increased FA was related to greater severity of autistic symptoms. The face and brain grow together during the earliest stages of development, and so findings of facial differences in autism might inform future studies of early brain differences associated with the condition.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Brisbane, Australia. School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

    ,

    Computer Sciences and Software Engineering, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. School of Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

    ,

    Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Brisbane, Australia.

    ,

    School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

    ,

    Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. School of Psychological Science, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

    ,

    Computer Sciences and Software Engineering, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

    Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Brisbane, Australia.

    Source

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    31225951

    Citation

    Boutrus, Maryam, et al. "Increased Facial Asymmetry in Autism Spectrum Conditions Is Associated With Symptom Presentation." Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research, 2019.
    Boutrus M, Gilani SZ, Alvares GA, et al. Increased facial asymmetry in autism spectrum conditions is associated with symptom presentation. Autism Res. 2019.
    Boutrus, M., Gilani, S. Z., Alvares, G. A., Maybery, M. T., Tan, D. W., Mian, A., & Whitehouse, A. J. O. (2019). Increased facial asymmetry in autism spectrum conditions is associated with symptom presentation. Autism Research : Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research, doi:10.1002/aur.2161.
    Boutrus M, et al. Increased Facial Asymmetry in Autism Spectrum Conditions Is Associated With Symptom Presentation. Autism Res. 2019 Jun 21; PubMed PMID: 31225951.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Increased facial asymmetry in autism spectrum conditions is associated with symptom presentation. AU - Boutrus,Maryam, AU - Gilani,Syed Zulqarnain, AU - Alvares,Gail A, AU - Maybery,Murray T, AU - Tan,Diana Weiting, AU - Mian,Ajmal, AU - Whitehouse,Andrew J O, Y1 - 2019/06/21/ PY - 2019/02/05/received PY - 2019/06/05/accepted PY - 2019/6/22/entrez KW - autism KW - facial asymmetry KW - morphology KW - neurodevelopment KW - subgroups JF - Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research JO - Autism Res N2 - A key research priority in the study of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) is the discovery of biological markers that may help to identify and elucidate etiologically distinct subgroups. One physical marker that has received increasing research attention is facial structure. Although there remains little consensus in the field, findings relating to greater facial asymmetry (FA) in ASC exhibit some consistency. As there is growing recognition of the importance of replicatory studies in ASC research, the aim of this study was to investigate the replicability of increased FA in autistic children compared to nonautistic peers. Using three-dimensional photogrammetry, this study examined FA in 84 autistic children, 110 typically developing children with no family history of the condition, and 49 full siblings of autistic children. In support of previous literature, significantly greater depth-wise FA was identified in autistic children relative to the two comparison groups. As a further investigation, increased lateral FA in autistic children was found to be associated with greater severity of ASC symptoms on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, second edition, specifically related to repetitive and restrictive behaviors. These outcomes provide an important and independent replication of increased FA in ASC, as well as a novel contribution to the field. Having confirmed the direction and areas of increased FA in ASC, these findings could motivate a search for potential underlying brain dysmorphogenesis. Autism Res 2019. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: This study looked at the amount of facial asymmetry (FA) in autistic children compared to typically developing children and children who have siblings with autism. The study found that autistic children, compared to the other two groups, had greater FA, and that increased FA was related to greater severity of autistic symptoms. The face and brain grow together during the earliest stages of development, and so findings of facial differences in autism might inform future studies of early brain differences associated with the condition. SN - 1939-3806 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31225951/Increased_facial_asymmetry_in_autism_spectrum_conditions_is_associated_with_symptom_presentation L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2161 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -