Pediatric CNS pathophysiology

Julia M. Stephen, Sven Braeutigam, Paul L. Furlong, Urs Ribary, Timothy P.L. Roberts, Nazin Virji-Babul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Research in pediatric central nervous system pathophysiology is focused around three primary goals: identification of neurodevelopmental disorders, understanding the differences in brain development which underlie these disorders, and improving treatment for these young children. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a complex set of disorders which are characterized by difficulties in language and social interactions. These behavioral measures are highly variable and a number of underlying causes can generate similar behavioral effects. Therefore, it is important to identify neurophysiological markers to better identify and characterize these disorders. Recent ASD findings using MEG show atypical latency and amplitude responses and poor cortical connectivity in children with ASDs across the cognitive spectrum from basic auditory processing, multisensory integration, to face and semantic processing. These results further support the view that ASDs are a complex neurologically-based disorder. On the other hand, the cause of Down syndrome is well understood as originating from a partial or full replication of chromosome 21. However, the cognitive and neurological consequences of this chromosomal abnormality are not yet well understood. Using a simple observation and motor execution task, poor functional connectivity in sensory-motor areas, particularly in the gamma band range, has been identified in children with Down syndrome and is consistent with behavioral deficits in the sensory-motor realm. Additional studies are needed to better understand whether targeted identification of these abnormalities can facilitate treatment in this disorder. Finally, while epilepsy can be reliably diagnosed, seizure control is still limited in many cases where the seizure onset zone is not readily apparent. Advances in pre-surgical evaluation and intra-operative co-registration will be described. These studies describing pediatric CNS pathophysiology will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th International Conference on Biomagnetism Advances in Biomagnetism – Biomag2010
Subtitle of host publicationMarch 28 – April 1, 2010 Dubrovnik, Croatia
EditorsSelma Supek, Ana Sušac
Place of PublicationBerlin (DE)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-12197-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-12196-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event17th International Conference on Biomagnetism Advances in Biomagnetism - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 28 Mar 20101 Apr 2010

Publication series

NameIFMBE Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1680-0737


Conference17th International Conference on Biomagnetism Advances in Biomagnetism
Abbreviated titleBiomag2010


  • autism spectrum disorders
  • children
  • Down syndrome
  • epilepsy
  • MEG


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