10 May 2009

Study Eyes Autism and Brain Size

Do you find my brain? - Auf der Suche nach mei...Image by alles-schlumpf via Flickr

From Denny: Published 4 May 2009 in the Archives of General Psychiatry is a new study about the brain size in autistic small children. The study was done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What part of the brain did researchers focus?

There is a region deep in the brain that helps control emotions. It also regulates attention and reads social cues from eye contact. This region of the brain is called the amygdala.

Who was studied?

The scientists studied two-year-olds with and without autism.

What did these researchers find?

What was quite a surprise is that autistic children exhibited a more enlarged amygdala where non-autistic children did not. This unusual distinction persisted in the follow-up screening of these same children two years later.

How is this study helpful?

For autism researchers this study adds insight into the brain size anomalies of autism and could help doctors diagnose autism.

Most of all, this study could help develop new interventions that help strengthen young childrens' social functioning.

Written by Denny Lyon

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