Cerebellum And Autism

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The Cerebellum and its connection to autism

Many scientists and researchers have accredited one of the causes of autism to the reduced number of Purkinje cells in the cerebral cortex. Purkinje cells play a vital role in the transmission of signals to the cerebral cortex that control
Purkinje cells are what make practice perfect because they can be condition with lots of repetitive movement, which can explain the importance of routine for most kids with autism (Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, et al, 2001). Loss of Purkinje cells can result in changed cerebral cortex signals that may be associated with some symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (Hoxha et al., 2013). In an MRI study done by the team of Jeong, Tiwari, Behen, Chugani (2014), the
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Many researchers have found significant correlations between brain anatomy and the development of autism because a decrease in size of the cerebellum could be an indicator that the child has a disorder, specifically autism. Brain structural abnormalities were tested in an experiment done by Sparks, Friedman ,Shaw, et al., (2002) using 84 three to four year old children both with and without autism. There were 45 children with autism, 26 typically functioning children, and 14 developmentally delayed children. The brain morphometric features were examined in three different groups. Volumes of the cerebrum, cerebellum, amygdala, and hippocampus were measured with images from a 3-D coronal MRI. The results actually differed from the previous study on brain volume because in this study, the cerebellar volume for the ASD group was significantly increased compared to the typically functioning and developmentally delayed. The developmentally delayed group had smaller cerebellar volumes compared to both of the other groups. The amygdalae and hippocampi were increased in autistic subjects as well, which added to the increased overall cerebellar volume. The amygdalae are essential for people to have the ability to feel emotions and are located close to the hippocampus in the front of the temporal lobe. The hippocampus plays a vital role in memory and is located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe. These structural findings demonstrate how abnormal brain processes in early childhood can be linked to autism (Sparks, Friedman ,Shaw, et al.,

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