What is Autism?
information from Autism Speaks
What You See is Just a Piece of the Picture
"Perception can be misleading and the truth is a spectrum of experience -- inner, outer, spoken, and unsaid. This isn’t just true for people with autism. It’s true for everyone, everywhere. We’ve all felt the sting of being misjudged by how we appear, rather than seen for who we are. Everyone wants to be understood. In order for that to happen, we have to start looking at the full picture." ~ Autism Speaks
Autism and Excessive Brain Synapses
An over-functioning brain
Recent research indicates a correlation between autism and an excess number of synapses in the brain. The over-functioning neural pathways are a result of a slow pruning off of excessive connectors (a process called autophagy) and are believed to either cause or contribute to autism.
The report, by neuroscientists at Columbia University Medical Center, appears in the journal Neuron.
In sum: Columbia researcher Guomei Tang analyzed post-mortem brain tissue from 26 children and young adults affected by autism and from 22 children and teens who did not have autism. "Dr. Tang measured the abundance of synapses in a small section of cortical tissue from each brain. She found that, by late childhood, the density had dropped by about half in the brain tissue unaffected by autism. By contrast, it was reduced by around 16 percent in the brains from individuals who had autism." Autism Speaks, published August 21, 2014.