Sensory processing disorders (SPD) affect 5-16% of school-aged children and can cause long-term deficits in intellectual and social development. Current theories of SPD implicate primary sensory cortical areas and higher-order multisensory integration (MSI) cortical regions. We investigate the role of white matter microstructural abnormalities in SPD using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI was acquired in 16 boys, 8-11 years old, with SPD and 24 age-, gender-, handedness- and IQ-matched neurotypical controls. Behavior was characterized using a parent report sensory behavior measure, the Sensory Profile. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD) and radial diffusivity (RD) were calculated. Tract-based spatial statistics were used to detect significant group differences in white matter integrity and to determine if microstructural parameters were significantly correlated with behavioral measures. Significant decreases in FA and increases in MD and RD were found in the SPD cohort compared to controls, primarily involving posterior white matter including the posterior corpus callosum, posterior corona radiata and posterior thalamic radiations. Strong positive correlations were observed between FA of these posterior tracts and auditory, multisensory, and inattention scores (r=0.51-0.78; p<0.001) with strong negative correlations between RD and multisensory and inattention scores (r=0.61-0.71; p<0.001). To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate reduced white matter microstructural integrity in children with SPD. We find that the disrupted white matter microstructure predominantly involves posterior cerebral tracts and correlates strongly with atypical unimodal and multisensory integration behavior. These findings suggest abnormal white matter as a biological basis for SPD and may also distinguish SPD from overlapping clinical conditions such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Related Content
White Matter Microstructure Correlates of Narrative Production in Typically Developing Children and Children with High Functioning Autism
This study investigated the relationship between white matter microstructure and the development of morphosyntax in a spoken narrative in typically developing children (TD) and in children with high functioning autism (HFA). Autism is characterized by language and communication impairments, yet t...


Hallazgos neurorradiológicos en una serie de pacientes con mucopolisacaridosis
Las mucopolisacaridosis (MPS) son un grupo de enfermedades hereditarias de depósito lisosomal. El objetivo de esta revisión es describir las alteraciones neurorradiológicas en los niños evaluados en nuestro hospital con este diagnóstico, buscar la posible correlación de estas alteraciones c...
Neuroimaging findings in patient series with mucopolysaccharidosis
Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of inherited disorders due to lysosomal enzyme deficiencies. The aims of this study are to describe the neuroimaging findings in children evaluated in our hospital with this diagnosis, looking for a possible correlation of these alterations with the type of...


A Systematic Review of Diffusion Weighted MRI Studies of White Matter Microstructure in Adolescent Substance Users
Recent studies using diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) have provided evidence of abnormal white matter microstructure in adults with substance use disorders (SUDs). While there is a growing body of research using DW-MRI to examine the impact of heavy substance use during adol...
White matter dementia
(WMD) is a syndrome introduced in 1988 to highlight the potential of cerebral white matter disorders to produce cognitive loss of sufficient severity to qualify as dementia. Neurologists have long understood that such a syndrome can occur, but the dominance of gray matter as the locus of higher f...

Investigating white matter development in infancy and early childhood using myelin water faction and relaxation time mapping
The elaboration of the myelinated white matter is essential for normal neurodevelopment, establishing and mediating rapid communication pathways throughout the brain. These pathways facilitate the synchronized communication required for higher order behavioral and cognitive functioning. Altered n...
Abnormal white matter on diffusion tensor imaging in children with new-onset seizures
The aim of this study was to use whole brain quantitative analysis to identify impaired white matter (WM) integrity using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in children with new-onset seizures. Thirty-five children with new-onset seizures and normal MRI were recruited. Twelve patients had generalized...

The dementia and disability project in Thai elderly: rational, design, methodology and early results
A strong inverse rate of illness, functional limitation, and socioeconomic status has been established in western ageing society. Functional limitation can be related to chronic diseases, disuse, cognitive decline, and ageing. Among chronic diseases in Thai population, cerebrovascular diseases, d...
The structural connectome of the human brain in agenesis of the corpus callosum
Adopting a network perspective, the structural connectome reveals the large-scale white matter connectivity of the human brain, yielding insights into cerebral organization otherwise inaccessible to researchers and clinicians. Connectomics has great potential for elucidating abnormal connectivity...

Microstructural Abnormalities in Language and Limbic Pathways in Orphanage-Reared Children: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study
This study utilized diffusion tensor imaging fiber tractography to examine the miscrostructural integrity of limbic and paralimbic white matter tracts in 36 children (age M = 124 months) with histories of early deprivation, raised from birth in orphanages and subsequently adopted into the United ...