Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Study: Autism Linked to More Brain Cells

There's growing evidence that the brains of autistic children are very different from the brains of other youngsters. Now a new study that found an excess of brain cells in children with autism comes closer to pinpointing the origins of the condition: in utero versus in toddlerhood.
In research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that autistic children have about 67% more nerve cells in a part of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex than children without autism. The prefrontal cortex is involved in processing social skills, communication, cognitive functions and language — all areas in which autistic children often show abnormal development.

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