Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Autistic Brain Structure & Development

Wrongplanet posts an interesting article from the journal Neuron about the size of portions of brains in autistic children and autistic adults.

"Surprisingly, current research is showing different results in the brains of autistic children compared to data collected in adults. The very same structures that appear smaller in adult autistic brains appear much larger and overgrown in autistic children. "

This paragraph is kind of shocking:
"Considerations for developmental aspects of autism are becoming ever more important. Even gene-association studies may be inconsistent because the genes that cause and regulate differential development may not be the same as those genes that respond to these differences later in life, making it hard to define a clear set of “autism” genes. This means, that genes found in autism studies may be identifying genes involved with secondary issues and are not finding genes that have to do with developing autism directly. Indeed, many genes identified thus far in autistic patients have to do with regulating cell death in the brain and may only be expressed secondarily in response to the overgrowth of particular brain structures."

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