There are clinical, anatomical and genetic overlaps between autism and certain rare developmental disorders of the cerebellum, and these disorders may help scientists understand autism, according to several studies published in the past year.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: brain size
Although the head overall is bigger in some children with autism, researchers have found more informative differences in size — some smaller, some larger — across regions of the brain.
Mice carrying an autism-associated mutation show impaired social interactions and dramatic changes in brain size when their immune systems are activated, according to research presented yesterday at a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago.
A child’s language ability correlates with the volume of his or her amygdala ― the small, deep brain region that is strongly associated with emotion processing ― according to an unpublished five-year longitudinal study presented Wednesday afternoon at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.
Mice missing a copy of GAP43, a gene involved in the development of axons ― the thin strands that conduct electrical signals between nerve cells ― show biological and behavioral parallels to autism, according to unpublished research presented in a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience conference.
Treatment with the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) greatly improves the health of mouse models of Rett syndrome ― a regressive genetic disorder that causes mental retardation, seizures, and autistic features ― according to unpublished researched presented this morning at the Society for Neuroscience conference.
As many as one in every three people with autism develop a macrocephalus, or extremely enlarged head, at some point in their lives, an observation largely accepted as fact. But how or why this happens ― and whether it happens consistently enough to be useful in diagnosing autism ― remains contentious.
Gray matter, that mysterious brain substance, is thought to control everything from motor function to mental acuity. In recent years several studies have suggested that an excess of gray matter during childhood is to blame for the symptoms of autism.