This study also suggests that stimulating this region with an electrical current may ease the effects in mice.
Study of cerebellum’s role in autism homes in on ‘social’ region A region of the cerebellum called the RCrus I may underpin the social problems seen in autistic people and in a mouse model of the condition.
The finding raises the question: Could increasing vasopressin levels boost sociability in people with autism?
Monkey study bolsters case for brain hormone’s role in autism This study reveals that autistic boys and the least social members of a troop of rhesus macaques have low brain levels of the hormone vasopressin.
Autism shares brain signature with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder Gene-expression signatures in the brains of people with autism overlap with expression patterns found in the brains of people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to this large study of postmortem brain tissue.
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Sensory sensitivity may share genetic roots with autism About 85 percent of the overlap between autism features and unusual sensory responses can be explained by genetics, according to this analysis of more than 12,000 twin pairs. Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) is the current term for what is probably a group of related neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by similar behavioral profiles. Rett’s Disorder has marked behavioral commonalities with Autistic Disorder, including poor social engagement and mental retardation, but differs from Autistic Disorder in several ways: in Rett’s Disorder, the retardation is more invariant and more typically severe, the disorder seems to present only in girls, it is marked by a characteristic pattern of head growth deceleration and loss of purposeful hand movements, sometimes accompanied by hand wringing behavior, following a period of normal development.Autism or autistic disorder is the most widely studied and best described of these disorders. Many girls with Rett syndrome also have epilepsy and other neurologic abnormalities. Beginning with Rimland’s seminal work on autism in 1964, psychology and psychiatry began to explore seriously the biological foundations of autism, and theories of autism as resulting from disturbances in attention, language, sensory integration, perceptual constancy, and other neurological functions were promulgated and tested. This served to derail any significant progress in understanding the disorder, as well as to cause a great deal of additional anguish to parents of autistic children. Although Kanner originally viewed the autistic aloneness as probably representing a constitutional defect, the two decades following his original work were marked by an unfortunate shift toward a psychodynamic/environmental view of the causation of autism. Kanner identified symptoms in three main groups: an autistic aloneness, a failure to use language communicatively, and an obsessive insistence on sameness in the environment; these are still the three areas of symptomatology used in current diagnostic systems. Preoccupations, Perseverations, and Resistance to Change B. Similarly, a high-functioning, older autistic individual may have perseverative interests in such topics as constellations, train schedules, or dinosaurs, and attempt to engage others in conversations on these subjects, while a lower functioning or younger autistic individual might engage in repetitive motor rituals. A high-functioning, older autistic individual, for example, may attempt to be social, but violate implicit rules of social behavior and be insensitive to unspoken social signals, while a low-functioning or much younger autistic individual may react to other people as if they were little different from inanimate objects.It is characterized by deficits in social relatedness, deficits in language and communication, and stereotyped and restricted patterns of behavior, and is frequently but not always accompanied by mental retardation. Historical Development of the Concept of Autism II. Asperger’s Disorder is often considered a mild form of Autistic Disorder, and there is still controversy about how distinct it is from autism; diagnostically, it can be distinguished from autism by normal development of language. The other specific syndromes classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorders include Rett’s Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.