Author Interviews, Autism, Medical Imaging / 02.04.2022 Interview with: Alpen ORTUĞ, PhD Postdoctoral Research FellowMassachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiology Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging Boston, MA  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings? Response: Finding the earliest diagnosis possible for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the main goals for researchers studying ASD. This study aimed to investigate the critical abnormalities in prenatal brain development in ASD using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We hypothesized that volumetric analyses of brain segmentations are useful to identify such abnormalities before birth. We have retrospectively analyzed fetal MRI based on the knowledge that the same individuals were later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We have evaluated developmental abnormalities in brain structures of prospective ASD fetuses using volumetric segmentation. The current study is still preliminary, but the ‘insula’ of the brain showed statistically significant volumetric enlargement in prospective ASD patients, compared to the other three control groups.  (more…)