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

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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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2019

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Facial Asymmetry
Autistic Disorder
Research
Siblings
Brain
Photogrammetry
Consensus
Appointments and Schedules

Cite this

@article{50d0b65e62a5423e92a91b2e9d52a73b,
title = "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. {\circledC} 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.",
author = "Maryam Boutrus and Gilani, {Syed Zulqarnain} and Alvares, {Gail A} and Maybery, {Murray T} and Tan, {Diana Weiting} and Ajmal Mian and Whitehouse, {Andrew J O}",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "21",
doi = "10.1002/aur.2161",
language = "English",
journal = "Autism Research",
issn = "1939-3792",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons",

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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

PY - 2019/6/21

Y1 - 2019/6/21

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.

AB - 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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DO - 10.1002/aur.2161

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JO - Autism Research

JF - Autism Research

SN - 1939-3792

ER -