Several studies in the past two years have claimed that brain scans can diagnose autism, but this assertion is deeply flawed, says Nicholas Lange.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Tag: brain size
Children with a deletion in the 22q11.2 chromosomal region have one of two distinct sets of symptoms, and only one of those is associated with autism, according to a study published 28 August in Research in Developmental Disabilities.
Heavier newborns have larger brains later in life, and a larger cerebral cortex — the brain region responsible for high-level functions such as consciousness and language. The findings, published 19 November in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the first to assess birth weight’s connection to brain development.
Mice with elevated levels of the immune molecule interleukin-6 have abnormally large brains, according to a study published 23 August in the International Journal of Neuroscience.
The action of certain maternal antibodies on the fetal brain may underlie the large brain size seen in some children with autism, according to preliminary findings from both monkey and human studies presented at a conference in Boston last week.
Knocking out an autism-linked gene called PTEN only in neural stem cells of the hippocampus, a brain region central to learning and memory, throws the development of new neurons off course in adult mice, according to research published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Autism and antisocial disorder are separate conditions, with distinct differences in underlying brain structure, according to a neuroimaging study of the general population. The results were published 4 April in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Individuals with autism may belong to one of four groups with discrete sets of symptoms, the most distinct of which includes immune system abnormalities accompanied by sleep problems and sensory sensitivity. The results were published in the April issue of Autism Research.
Postmortem brain tissue from people with autism shows differences in the expression of genes involved in a number of molecular pathways, including those that control cortical patterning, programmed cell death and differentiation, according to research published last month in PLoS Genetics.