Previous studies have demonstrated patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are accompanied by alterations of spontaneous brain activity in gray matter. However, whether the alterations of spontaneous brain activity exist in white matter remains largely unclear. In this study, 88 ASD patients and 87 typical controls (TCs) were included and regional homogeneity (ReHo) was calculated to characterize spontaneous brain activity in white matter. Voxel-wise two-sample t-tests were performed to investigate ReHo alterations, and cluster-level analyses were conducted to examine structural-functional coupling changes. Compared with TCs, the ASD group showed significantly decreased ReHo in the left superior corona radiata and left posterior limb of internal capsule, and decreased ReHo in the left anterior corona radiata with a trend level of significance. In addition, significantly weaker structural-functional coupling was observed in the left superior corona radiata and left posterior limb of internal capsule in ASD patients. Taken together, these findings highlighted abnormalities of white matter’s regional spontaneous brain activity in ASD, which may provide new insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of this disorder.
Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Ltd.