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May 1985

Brain Metabolism in AutismResting Cerebral Glucose Utilization Rates as Measured With Positron Emission Tomography

Author Affiliations

From the Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (Drs Rumsey and J. L. Rapoport); Section on Brain Aging and Dementia, Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging (Drs Duara, Grady, S. I. Rapoport, and Cutler); and the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health (Dr Margolin), Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(5):448-455. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790280026003

• The cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was studied in ten men (x̄ age=26 years) with well-documented histories of infantile autism and in 15 age-matched normal male controls using positron emission tomography and (F-18) 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose. Positron emission tomography was completed during rest, with reduced visual and auditory stimulation. While the autistic group as a whole showed significantly elevated glucose utilization in widespread regions of the brain, there was considerable overlap between the two groups. No brain region showed a reduced metabolic rate in the autistic group. Significantly more autistic, as compared with control, subjects showed extreme relative metabolic rates (ratios of regional metabolic rates to whole brain rates and asymmetries) in one or more brain regions.