Autism and Different Areas of the Brain

DTI image

DTI image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autistic individuals tend to use different are...

Autistic individuals tend to use different areas of the brain (yellow) for a movement task compared to a control group (blue). Powell K. Opening a window to the autistic brain. PLoS Biol . 2004 ;2(8) :E267. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020267. PMID 15314667. PMC 509312. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Men and women are very different in many different ways, that is a given. Just because a person may have a challenge of some sort like Autism, Cerebral Palsy or microcephaly ect. does not mean we are biologically going to react the same.

Everyone is an individual with individual needs. Men and women with challenges are no different in their “differences” than anyone else.

It is interesting to me however, is the people who are researching the differences of the Autistic male brain, and the Autistic female brain are finding some amazing results.

“We compared the brains of male patients with and without autism, so we have a pattern to demonstrate how autism manifests in the brain, and then do the same thing for females,” Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai, who led the research project, told “So if autism manifests the same for males and females, then the (patterns would be) quite alike. If it manifests differently by gender, then the two patterns would be quite distinct. And that’s what we found.”

Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers scanned and compared the brains of 30 male and 30 female autism patients between the ages of 18 and 49, none of whom had intellectual disabilities. The brain scans were then compared to those of 30 male and 30 female control patients, who were considered typical developing adults.

As expected, the tests found that the brain anatomies of females with autism were substantially different when compared to the brains of their male counterparts. In fact, a completely different set of brain regions were implicated in the male autism brains than in the female autism brains.

The brain imaging revealed that females with autism showed what the scientists referred to as neuroanatomical “masculinization.” meaning areas of the brain that were atypical in adult females with autism were similar to areas that differ between typical developing males and females. This brain difference was not seen in the adult males with autism.

“The key message is that researchers should not really assume that what we know about autism in males will always be applicable to females,” Lai said. “We need to pay more attention to the female population, looking at males and females separately and jointly. We have to identify both similarities and differences.”


One thought on “Autism and Different Areas of the Brain

  1. Pingback: Autism and Different Areas of the Brain | Sarah's Voice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s