Characterization of the Pathological and Biochemical Markers that Correlate to the Clinical Features of Autism
Annual rept. 22 Sep 2008-21 Sep 2009
RESEARCH FOUNDATION FOR MENTAL HYGIENE INC STATEN ISLAND NY INSTITUTE FOR BASIC RESEARCH IN DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
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The study of 22 brain subdivisions in 13 autistic and 14 control subjects with unbiased stereological methods revealed that autism is associated with profound global desynchronization of neuronal growth within the developing brain. Desynchronization is reflected in a very significant delay of neuronal growth in the n. accumbens -37, thalamus -33, reduced volume of Purkinje cells -32, globus pallidus -31, amygdala -28, entorhinal cortex -28 b moderate delay of neuronal growth within putamen -17, caudate -16 and in the dentate nucleus -19 and c unchanged trajectory of neuronal development within the cornu Ammonis and in the lateral geniculate nucleus. Developmental delay of neuronal growth and related neuronal networks may contribute to the main functional anomalies observed in autism. Developmental delay in the striatal circuitry may contribute to repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Developmental changes in the nucleus accumbens may enhance engagement in ritual and stereotyped behavior. Verbal and nonverbal communication deficits, sensory abnormalities, skeletal muscle hypotonia, and intellectual deficits could be result of developmental abnormalities in the thalamus and cerebellum. The emerging pattern of developmental delay of neuronal growth could be the target for development of early interventions stimulating neuronal growth and preventing structural and functional deterioration.
- Medicine and Medical Research