Stephen Dager, M.D., featured in UW News article about brain structures and autism

Stephen Dager, M.D., was featured in an article on UW News for research on brain structures in infants who later develop autism. 

“Researchers have long known the amygdala is significantly larger in school-age children diagnosed with autism, but it was unknown precisely when that enlargement occurs,” the article said. “Now, for the first time, researchers from the Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network, which includes the University of Washington, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to demonstrate that the amygdala grows too rapidly in infancy.”

The study, conducted by Dr. Dager and a slew of researchers from the Infant Brain Imaging Study Network (which includes the University of Washington), was published in March in the American Journal of Psychiatry and is the first to document amygdala overgrowth before autism appears clinically. 

“We are getting closer to understanding why autism occurs by learning more about brain growth alterations early during development, in this case how amygdala growth may be influenced by early sensory processing difficulties and, conversely, how amygdala growth alterations may influence a baby’s interaction with their environment,” Dr. Dager, Professor of Radiology and Associate Director of the Center on Human Development and Disability, told UW News.

Read the full article on the UW News website.

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