Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The neurophysiology of autism

The New York Times > Health > Focus Narrows in Search for Autism's Cause

The hypotheses:

1. Autism is a disorder of connections between functional components of the brain leading to an inability to integrate cerebral subunits.

2. Some of the subunits function well in isolation. This can lead to a strength of focus and an understanding of the detail.

3. Subunit isolation is associated with an excess of white matter and with inflammation. It is not known whether the inflammation is related to the fundamental cause or if it is a secondary response. It is also not known if the inflammation is helpful, harmful or irrelevant.

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