Brain Function for Autism

Topics: Autism, Nervous system, Central nervous system Pages: 5 (1475 words) Published: April 23, 2012

Brain Function for Autism
Psychology 340

Brain Function for Autism
The brain has forever stumped scientist on how it functions and which genetics and behavior place in the picture. With many genetic diseases that passed on through a recessive gene; this can cause physical and mental impairment in their offspring. This paper will be focusing on Autism the effects it has on many people. It has been studied that this is a genetically engineered disability, with no cure available cognitive therapy has been found to be very helpful in coping with this lifelong disability.

Neurological Damage
For years the causes of Autism have been study and what triggers it and at what point of gestation. Many scientists are in agreement that the cause is in the nervous system, as Autism is a nerve dysfunction. Some believe it is an early brain stem injury onset during early gestation: this injury would affect the cranial nerves and later brain development. The injury to the brain stem and the growth interferes with the neuron functioning of other brain regions. The high-functioning area such has speech would be most challenged.

In scientific study’s it has been decided that there is a reduction in neurons in the cerebellum in the brain, people with Autism lack the brain activity that would be found in someone without Autism. The cerebellum is part of the hindbrain; this is the part of the brain that controls muscle movement and speech patterns. Scientists are still studying a specific cause, if a specific cause was indicated it would easier to treat or even cure the debilitating disease (Rodier, 2000).

In 1995, a group of scientists study the brain stem of a deceased girl with Autism it was found that the brain stem was missing to structures the facial nucleolus, this control muscle movement in the face and the superior olive which, controls auditory functions. Both functions should be present in an embryo’s neural tube, this leads to the development of the nervous system (Rodier, 2000). What Causes Autism:

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that is linked to abnormal biology, genetics, and chemistry in the brain, which makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others. It is possible that Autism begins at birth or within the first two years of a child’s life. The exact causes of these abnormalities remain unknown. Between 1950, and 1960, the flawed psychodynamic view of autism was that a cause of this disorder was cold and rejecting parents. Research indicates that genetic factors play a major role, but scientists are not yet sure, that genes may be responsible for passing down autism in families. One study showed that patients with autism who birthed offspring’s with the disease came from parents with severe retardation (Baird and August, 1985). Childhood vaccines, especially the measles-mumps-rubella type, may be a major cause. Research has yet to prove this true. Non-genetic factors have been found to bear upon this disorder. Complications at birth such pregnancies at advanced ages, bleeding after the first trimester, medications during pregnancy, and the presence of meconium in the amniotic fluids have been associated with the onset of autism (Gillberg & Coleman, 2000) Whatever the ultimate cause, researchers believe that autism results from a range of deficits in the brain (Alloy, 2004).Most characteristic signs of autism – language deficit are related to dysfunctions in the central nervous system. Autopsies of autistic patients have also revealed certain abnormalities in the cerebellum and the limbic regions of the brain, which control cognition, memory, and behavior. Research and Treatment:

One of the major developments in the area of prevention is the advent of genetic analysis and counseling. Couples at risk can be identified, informed of the risk,...

References: Alloy, L. (2004). Abnormal Psychology: Current Perspective, 9th Ed. McGraw
Hill Co.
Baird, T. & August, G. (1985). Familial Heterogeneity in Infantile Autism.
Journal of Autism and Development Disorders. 15, 315 – 321.
Gillberg, C. & Coleman, M. (2000). The Biology of Autistic Syndromes.3rd Ed.
Cambridge University Press.
Losh, M. & Capps, L. (2006). Understanding of Emotional Experience in Autism: Insights from the Personal Accounts of High-Functioning Children with Autism. Developmental.
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