19 février 2016

Le cerveau autiste

Une étude révèle des différences observables dans le cerveau des hommes autistes.

Extrait de l'article:

The study, published in the journal Brain, used a novel brain imaging method to identify altered brain connections in people with ASD. The researchers used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a magnetic resonance imaging technique, to compare networks of white matter in 61 adults with ASD and 61 controls. White matter consists of large bundles of nerve cells that connect different regions of the brain and enable communication between them.

The scans revealed that men with ASD had differences in brain connections in the frontal lobe, a part of the brain that is crucial to developing language and social interaction skills.

Specifically, these men had altered development of white matter connections in the left side of the brain, the arcuate bundle, which is involved in language. The differences in the arcuate bundle, which connects areas of the brain involved in understanding words and regions related to speech production, were particularly severe in those who had a significant history of 'delayed echolalia'. Delayed echolalia is very common in ASD and manifests in the parrot-like repetition of words or sentences.

ASD was also associated with underdevelopment of white matter in the left uncinate bundle, which plays a significant role in face recognition and emotional processing. This also correlated with observations of 'inappropriate use of facial expression' in childhood.

(...) "It is worth noting that the brain differences are visible only with the special research techniques we now have at our disposal. These differences are very subtle and potentially reversible. Thanks to neuroimaging studies like this, it may one day be possible to stimulate the development of these faulty brain connections, or to predict how people with autism respond to treatment."

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