2 Recent Articles

1.Extra Brain Synapses Appear a Hallmark of Autism

A fairly in-depth article, but a few takeaways include:

  • a hypothesis that extra synapses in newborn children with autism are not “pruned” during adolescence
  • that a drug, rapamycin, which helps “autism-like behavior in mice” may, in the future, help find possible treatments for children with autism after diagnosis

2.Kids With Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Show Different Brain Wiring

Appearing last month, this article opens by comparing sensory processing disorders (SPD) and autism, finding distinction in where they both occur in the brain. This goes a long way to help establish sensory processing as “a clinically important neurodevelopmental disorder.”

When comparing patients with SPD to those with autism, both groups had decreased connectivity in areas that “handle sensory information.” But only those with autism showed structural problems in in areas of the brain important for “social-emotional processing.”

Outside of all the connectivity and wiring talk, however, the article also dedicates a chunk to symptoms of sensory processing disorder itself.

“Children with SPD struggle to process competing sensory stimulation, which can be associated with a wide range of symptoms including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch; poor fine motor skills; and distractibility. Some children with SPD cannot tolerate the sound of a vacuum, while others struggle with emotional regulation or can’t hold a pencil. Further, a sound that is an irritant one day can be tolerated the next.”

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